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Boris: 'This is a problem that needs a rapid solution'

London Mayor Boris Johnson: "This is a problem that really needs a rapid solution. What it will mean is that everybody goes into the 2015 election with this Heathrow third runway still on the table, still a potential solution and I don't think that's sensible.

"I think it will cause real convulsions in west London, in all parts of London really because the third runway will bring a dramatic deterioration in the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people around the city."

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Air review to offer 'flying start'

The head of the coalition's aviation review promised to lay the ground for the next government to get off to a "flying start" with airport expansion after the 2015 general election.

Sir Howard Davies, who has been asked by ministers to examine ways of increasing aviation capacity, acknowledged criticism that his commission was a way of kicking the highly contentious issue into the long grass.

He said he would not be setting out a preferred option before the next election but was trying to "make best use of (his) time in the long grass".

We will be looking at all the options there are and trying to narrow them down to a small number that look feasible and plausible to us.

– Sir Howard Davies

Sir Howard Davies to produce report on airport expansion

Sir Howard's task is to bring out an interim report by the end of 2013 and then a full report in summer 2015 - after the next general election.

Mr Johnson, among others, has been critical of the timescale imposed on Sir Howard saying that the Government is moving far too slowly, with the "continued inertia being fully exploited by our European rivals".

Former Tory Cabinet minister Lord Heseltine has also been critical of the Government, saying this week that he would like to see more progress on airports and other big infrastructure problems.

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Details of airports review set out

Sir Howard Davies. Credit: PA

The man charged with pointing the way forward for UK airport expansion is setting out his work plans.

Former Financial Services Authority boss Sir Howard Davies will explain how his Whitehall-appointed commission intends to operate.

Aviation policy has become a political hot potato for the coalition and few will envy Sir Howard in his task of making recommendations on future expansion.

Nearly everyone involved in aviation recognises the need for airport expansion if the UK is to compete on a world economic and tourist stage.

But unanimity about just how to achieve this is in short supply, with some such as London mayor Boris Johnson backing a new Thames Estuary airport and others preferring to see expansion at Heathrow or at one of the other major airports.