Transport secretary Geoff Hoon has said that the government is fully supportive of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.
Announcing his backing yesterday (January 15th), Mr Hoon said that the UK’s busiest airport was "vital" to the country’s economy because it linked Britain to the "growth markets of the future".
"But for too long it has operated at full capacity, losing ground to international hub airports in other countries and with relatively minor problems causing severe delays to passengers," he said.
"This third runway will help secure jobs now and in the future and ensure that Britain remains a place where the world can come to do business."
Mr Hoon added that cleaner, quieter aircraft would be given priority at Heathrow and that increased capacity would only be granted once environmental conditions were met.
The Association of British Travel Agents welcomed the government’s decision but said that the airport would find it "extremely difficult" to grow due to the fact that it operates at 99 percent capacity.