Britain should build a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport, according to a government-appointed commission. As Hayley Platt reports the decision will be a political headache for Prime Minister David Cameron.
UPSOT: "We have concluded that Heathrow is the best option" The verdict is out: to increase London's airport capacity, go with Heathrow. An independent commission speaking its mind on Wednesday. According to the report, London's biggest airport should be made even bigger. Stanstead was disregarded for being under-used and Gatwick, although cheaper, would be limited by its intra-European routes. Reuters UK Correspondent Sarah Young says the decision follows the money. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, SARAH YOUNG, SAYING: "The recommendation is what the industry was expecting. Lots of airlines want to fly to and from Heathrow, much more than from Gatwick, there's more demand there and it's full so this was expected" But what about Boris Johnson's Thames estuary plan? The Mayor of London has said over and over again that Heathrow's expansion is a no-go - and that a new airport in the Thames estuary is the sensible way to go. Something the Commission disregarded as absurd. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRPORT COMMISSION'S CHAIRMAN, HOWARD DAVIES, SAYING: "The estuary we gathered it would take between 30 and 60 billion of public spending to get people to it and the environmental obstacles were, in our view, almost insuperable." Campaigning ahead of the 2010 general election the Prime Minister ALSO said a third runway at Heathrow was out of the question. That put him in a difficult position. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "I am very clear about the legal position that if we say anything now before studying the report actually you can endanger whatever decision is made." He's promised a verdict by the end of the year. Mint Partners' strategist, Bill Blain. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BILL BLAIN, STRATEGIST, MINT PARTNERS, SAYING: "We need to make a decision. We needed to make a decision thirty years ago about building airports and runways in the south east of England . There hasn't been one built since the 1940s yet here we are announcing yes we're definitely going to build in Heathrow but only if we get all the various parts like noise control and quieter engines and flights." The airports commission was set up as a way of taking a toxic decision out of politicians' hands. In that respect at least, the prime minister will surely consider it an abject failure.