The operator of London's Heathrow Airport is hopeful that plans to build a new runway could receive long-awaited backing from a UK government-appointed commission this year, helping bolster traffic at Britain's busiest airport.
Heathrow reported a 1.4pc increase in 2014 passengers helped by bigger, fuller airplanes. There is little room for additional flights, as the two-runway airport is essentially full, operating at 98pc of its capacity. Future growth would be about 0.5pc a year, Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said yesterday.
Expansion of Heathrow has long been a political issue, with opposition from environmentalists and local residents.
Britain's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition which won the 2010 election scrapped the previous Labour government's plans to build a new runway at Heathrow, west of London.