BAA will not to submit a planning application for the construction of Heathrow airport’s controversial third runway until after the general election next June.
A report in The Telegraph suggested that Heathrow’s owner and operator will hold off issuing large contracts because it does not want to force the hand of a potential Conservative government.
The Tories are expected to commit to scrapping the plans in their election manifesto and are backing a high speed rail and expansion of regional airports as a more environmentally friendly alternative.
A BAA spokesperson said: “We remain convinced that a third runway is the only viable, costed and thought through way of meeting the need for extra runway capacity to maintain this country’s global connections to the rest of the world, particularly in an era where long haul links to markets such as China and India are increasingly important.
“The process of putting in a planning application is complex, particularly given the new planning structure put in place as recently as 1 October. The process was always going to take until after the general election. We continue to work on the application and will take as long as is necessary to prepare a proper submission.”