The government faces a major political row and lengthy legal challenges after making its decision on the positioning of a new runway for the southeast of England this week.
Weekend reports suggested a special cabinet sub-committee of MPs will make its recommendation as early as tomorrow after prime minister David Cameron promised a decision on airport expansion before Christmas.
Cameron will consider the judgment of the ten-strong sub-committee before discussing the outcome in a full meeting of cabinet.
All eyes will be on approval for a third runway at Heathrow as backed by the Airports Commission in its final report published in July.
However, Gatwick has been fighting a strong rearguard action to promote its plans for a second runway as having less environmental impact and quicker to build.
Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate for London mayor, has threatened to quit as MP for Richmond Park in London and prompt a by-election if the Heathrow plan goes ahead.
Current London mayor Boris Johnson is among the most outspoken opponents to Heathrow expansion together with a number of high profile cabinet ministers.
But Heathrow is likely to get the nod because the sub-committee is mainly composed of supporters of its expansion, including business secretary Sajid Javid.
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