Airline and airport bosses are to unveil a series of tests by which they believe the Government's forthcoming aviation policy statement should be measured.
» Technology | Monday, June 25, 2012 • The Press Association
Transport Secretary Justine Greening is due in the next few weeks to set out the Government's thinking on aviation.
The last Labour government supported a third runway at Heathrow Airport, but this was ruled out by the coalition Government in May 2010, with ministers saying they had no plans for additional runways in south-east England.
But ministers have changed their minds, with Chancellor George Osborne saying in this year's Budget that the country had to "confront" the lack of south-east England runway capacity.
Earlier this year Prime Minister David Cameron said the Government was "not blind" to the need for more runways. Last week he said the Government's position on Heathrow had not changed, although there was a need to ensure Heathrow operated better.
The aviation "tests" are being unveiled in London by the Aviation Foundation, which includes Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow operator BAA, British Airways' parent company IAG, business groups and the TUC.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh will help outline the tests.
Keen to see expansion at British Airways' main airport - Heathrow - Mr Walsh has been particularly critical of the Government, saying it has "no aviation policy to speak of" and that it has been "flying blind on aviation".
London Mayor Boris also opposes a third runway at Heathrow, and backs a "Boris island" plan to build a new airport for London in the Thames Estuary.
Another Thames Estuary airport plan - a four-runway, £50 billion scheme - has been put forward by architect Lord Foster.