The Airports Commission will reportedly “fudge” its decision on airport expansion by leaving all options on the table.
While the independent body is likely to recommend Heathrow for expansion on Wednesday, it is understood the group will not rule out building a second runway at Gatwick.
This will pave the way for ministers to oppose expansion at Heathrow, the Telegraph reported.
This comes amid reports that chancellor George Osborne would consider backing a new runway at Gatwick despite being a previous supporter of expanding Heathrow.
The Commission is expected to leave the door open to Gatwick expansion by not categorically ruling out any of the three shortlisted options.
The five-member panel, headed by Sir Howard Davies, has been considering three plans: a second Gatwick runway, a third Heathrow runway, or an extension to an existing Heathrow runway.
Treasury sources told the Sunday Times that Osborne was now open to backing the Gatwick bid – despite previously supporting Heathrow.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is expected to comment on the report on Wednesday but a formal government position will not be announced until later in the year.
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