Some believe today's report did not draw firm conclusions in order to avoid a politically divisive issue before the next election.
Expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick Airports are the shortlisted options being considered by a government report into airport expansion.
Heathrow is the third busiest airport in the world in terms of passenger numbers. It carried more than 69 million people in 2011.
The Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, an opponent to Heathrow expansion, has been making his views clear on the options of the interim report into the issue:
Howard Davies has been very busy this week, nipping & tucking his entirely independent report - on the instructions of Government.
BAA's Colin Matthews tells R4- Heathrow can't be expanded without broad political consensus. There will never be consensus on the 3rd Runway
'Let Britain Fly' wants all Party manifestos to accept the conclusions of the Airports review without even knowing what they are. #democracy
Mayor of London Boris Johnson reiterated his support for a new hub airport in the inner estuary, saying expanding Heathrow "would inflict untold misery on hundreds of thousands more Londoners."
It is clear that Gatwick is not being considered as a hub airport, meaning a second runway there would only provide temporary relief to Heathrow.
And that means he has effectively told the Government it has two choices - proceed with the creation of a monstrous Heathrow, on a constrained site that won’t solve our capacity crisis, but would inflict untold misery on hundreds of thousands more Londoners through the din of many more jet engines in parts of the capital and home counties that have not so far experienced it; or proceed with the construction of a new hub in the inner estuary that can be built for the same cost as a four runway Heathrow, and would bring new jobs, homes, and long term competitiveness.
A new airport in the inner estuary is the only credible hub option left, and the only one that would uphold this country’s claim to be the natural financial, commercial and economic capital of Europe.
By keeping it on the table Davies is saying you have a choice - between a damaging u turn or a radical new vision for expansion.
Proposals for an expansion of Birmingham Airport have not been shortlisted as part of a report published this morning.
The Airports Commission report has looked at ways to maximise airport capacity.
However, it did say that Birmingham Airport could be considered as a potential option for a second new runway by 2050.
The Airports commission said it had not shortlisted any of the Thames Estuary options "because there are too many uncertainties and challenges surrounding them at this stage".
It said it would undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and said it would:
Will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other shortlisted options.
The commission said it had not shortlisted proposals for expansion at Stansted or Birmingham Airports, but it added:
There is likely to be a case for considering them as potential options for any second new runway by 2050.
The Airports Commissions' independent review into airport capacity in the UK has concluded that there is a need for one additional runway to be up and running in the south east by 2030.
The commission found that there is likely to be a demand case for a second additional runway to be operational by 2050.
The Commission said it will now investigate further feasibility studies to look into proposals for new runways in two locations - at Heathrow and Gatwick.
At Gatwick, the group will study the airport's proposals for a new runway to the south of the existing runway.
At Heathrow, two options are on the table: the existing plan for one new 3,500m runway to the northwest, and a new proposals from Heathrow Hub to extend the existing northern runway to at least 6,000m, enabling the the extended runway to operate as two independent runways.
The government-appointed Commission into airport expansion has revealed its shortlist of preferred options. It lists a third runway at Heathrow and a second at Gatwick in Sussex.
The Commission, chaired by former FSA chief Sir Howard Davies stopped short of listing Stansted for possible expansion.
The Commission's preliminary report said only one extra runway would be needed in the south east before 2030 with an additional runway likely to be needed by 2050.
Plans for a hub in the Thames Estuary - dubbed "Boris Island" were not shortlisted because of "too many uncertainties and challenges".
It said it would undertake further study of the Isle of Grain option in the first half of 2014 and "will reach a view later next year on whether that option offers a credible proposal for consideration alongside the other shortlisted options".
Head of the Airports Commission Howard Davies said the Thames estuary idea, presented by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, would be considered separately.
So Boris Island could in theory go back on the list... But seems v unlikely now it's not made the short list
Davies says one new airport needed by 2030 and likely to be another by 2050... He says Thames estuary will be considered separately....
Davies says he ll consider TWO new runways at Heathrow and one at Gatwick - Thames estuary airport idea gone