Airport expansion row to rumble on

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There will be no firm decisions on UK airport expansion before the next general election, the government has said.

A future airport policy independent commission, to be chaired by former Financial Services Authority chairman Sir Howard Davies, will not publish its final report until the summer of 2015.

A decision on whether to support any of the recommendations in the commission’s final report will be taken by the next government, new Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said.

The announcement means that the debate over whether Heathrow should have a third runway, or whether a new airport should be built in the Thames Estuary, which has split the Conservative ranks, will drag on for many more months.