A decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow has been pushed back until 2018.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said the announcement on the long-running saga around airport capacity will be made in the first half of next year due to the recent General Election.
The House of Commons will then vote on the government’s Airports’ National Policy Statement. It had originally planned to hold the vote at the end of this year.
“The timing of the election, in particular the need to restart a select committee inquiry into the draft Airports NPS, means we now expect to lay any final NPS in Parliament in the first half of 2018, for a vote in the House of Commons,” said Grayling.
“This government is fully committed to realising the benefits that a new north-west runway at Heathrow would bring, in terms of economic growth, boosting jobs and skills, strengthening domestic links and – critically – increasing and developing our international connectivity as we prepare to leave the European Union.”
The British Airlines Pilots Association has hit out at the latest delay. General secretary Brian Strutton said: “Pilots and the travelling public are frustrated that this vital step towards expansion has once again been delayed.
“Aviation brings £52billion a year to the UK economy and we can’t afford these incessant delays to see the extra capacity become a reality.
“Pilots are concerned we could lose business to our European competitors if we don’t make the runway at Heathrow a matter of priority.”