A MP has accused the Airports Commission of ignoring residents after it revealed two of its three short-listed options for expansion are at Heathrow, writes Robert Cumber .
A new runway to the north-west of the airport and extending the northern runway to the west, allowing it to be used simultaneously for take-offs and landings, are two of the options making the cut.
The other is a new runway at Gatwick, while a new Thames Estuary airport, on the Isle of Grain, has not been entirely ruled out.
A new hub airport at Stansted and new runways to the north and south of Heathrow are among the many options which failed to make the grade.
The commission, chaired by Sir Howard Davies, will now further assess the three short-listed options and carry out public consultation before making its final recommendations in the summer of 2015, after the next general election.
Brentford and Isleworth MP Mary Macleod this week accused the commission of having done too little so far to consider the views of those living under the flight paths.
"From my point of view I am unhappy the commission made very little effort to speak to residents and elected politicians who represent them and create a free and frank discussion over this vital issue," she said.
"I wanted them to be innovative in their thinking to help ensure we ended up with a world class airport.
"I represent 94,000 people living directly under the flight path and yet I was only allowed to send in my views.
"The only time I met the commission in person was an informal chat in the House of Lords right at the start where I had 1.5 minutes to give my views."
The Conservative MP added that she would be 'very disappointed' if her party were to back expansion at Heathrow, having ruled out such an option in this government.
However, she stopped short of her Tory Colleague Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, who has said he would resign if his party made such a u-turn.
John Stewart, chairman of anti-Heathrow expansion lobby group HACAN, said the proposals would act as a 'trigger' to 18 months of 'intense' campaigning against Heathrow expansion.
"The scale of the opposition will be so great that we believe that they are politically undeliverable and should have been dropped at this stage," he added.
The commission's recommendations for short-term improvements to aviation capacity include making better use of airspace and increasing transport links to existing airports.
It has also recommended the formation of an independent monitoring authority to provide expert advice on the noise impact of various options.