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Timing announced for Gov't airport expansion statement

The Government will choose between expansion at Heathrow (pictured) or Gatwick Airport. Credit: PA Wire

The Government will deliver a statement on its plans for airport expansion in south east England to MPs before midday on Tuesday.

A Number 10 spokeswoman confirmed Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will speak in Parliament at around 11.30am on the issue which has led to fierce Cabinet debate after decades of disagreement.

Mr Grayling said on Sunday any of the three options - new runways at Heathrow or Gatwick, or extending an existing runway at Heathrow - would "open up new opportunities" for Britain post Brexit.

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Frenchman appears in court over Gatwick security alert

Travellers queuing at Gatwick's North terminal after the evacuation. Credit: PA

A French man has appeared in court charged with possessing an air rifle and a knife following an evacuation at Gatwick Airport.

Jerome Chauris, 41, from Vendome in central France, was arrested on Saturday after allegedly walked into the airport's North Terminal carrying the weapons.

Wearing a white striped shirt and his black shoulder-length hair swept back, Chauris identified himself with the help of an interpreter.

During the hearing he wept and made several comments in French.

The incident, which took place at around 9.30am on Saturday, sent parts of the airport into lockdown and caused significant disruption to travellers.

Check-in was closed for six hours and is said to have cost airlines and passengers an estimated £1.2m.

The court heard how thousands of passengers and airport staff were evacuated from the terminal's 'landside' concourse, the area before luggage screening and security checks open to the public.

Officers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team then moved into the departure hall and carried out a small controlled explosion on a suspicious package.

Mr Chauris, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody to appear before Lewes Crown Court on 14 December.

Gatwick's North Terminal reopens after security alert

Gatwick Airport's North Terminal has reopened after a security alert prompted an evacuation.

The closure was prompted by the discovery of what police believed to be a firearm in a bin at the airport.

A 41-year-old man from Vendome in France was arrested at the scene on suspicion of discarding the suspected weapon.

He had not checked in or passed through any passport or security checks at the time, Sussex Police said.

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