A report on whether Gatwick Airport should expand looks set to be delayed while the Airports Commission asks people their views on air quality.
Gatwick and Heathrow have been fighting a fierce battle for expansion and commission chairman Sir Howard Davies was expected to publish his report next month.
This morning (Friday May 8), the commission launched a fresh consultation to gather opinion on how air quality will be affected by expansion at either airport. People have until May 29 to respond.
Amid speculation from commentators suggesting a report to be delayed, the Commission has confirmed it still expects to give the Government its recommendation this summer.
A spokesman for the Airports Commission said: “We said in our November consultation report that we would supplement the air quality modelling with more detailed dispersion modelling.
“That work, which provides information about the air quality implications and the scope for mitigation for each proposal has now been done.
“The Commission has not reached any decisions and we invite comment on this work from all interested parties. The Commission intends to deliver its recommendation this summer in line with its terms of reference.”
The commission is considering three short-listed options for airport expansion in the South East: a second runway at Gatwick, a third runway at Heathrow and an extension of one of Heathrow’s existing runways.
Campaigners in North Sussex will see this as a small victory in their long battle to fight against the Gatwick proposal.
To view the consultation documents and respond to the consultation go to the Airports Commission website