FEARS are growing that a third runway at Heathrow is back on the agenda - but it might be Ruislip and Ickenham instead of Sipson and Harmondsworth at risk.
Reports in the Independent on Sunday over the weekend suggested that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne had pushed at a recent cabinet meeting for the third runway option to be reconsidered, despite misgivings from both the prime minister and his deputy.
With the current transport secretary, Justine Greening, herself a former campaigner against a third runway that would destroy hundreds of homes in the south of Hillingdon borough, RAF Northolt in South Ruislip could be touted as a serious alternative.
On the Ruislip Online Messageboard on Monday residents said the plan sounded increasingly plausible. One user wrote: "This all sounds far too likely to happen for my liking."
RAF Northolt's good transport links and proximity to the proposed High Speed Two (HS2) route through the area are seen as advantages to such a plan. But the full impact on residents in Ruislip and neighbouring Ickenham could be severe.
In last week's budget, Mr Osborne said several options for expanding airport capacity in the south-east would be looked at prior to a new aviation strategy getting published this summer.
However, HACAN, the Heathrow Association for the Control of Aircraft Noise, said the talk of a third runway was just "rumour and counter-rumour."
Chairman John Stewart said: "None of the recent stories that the government is about to change its mind on Heathrow have been backed up with hard evidence.
"They have all relied on anonymous briefings."
Opposition to Heathrow's third runway was included as a manifesto pledge in both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat election campaigns of 2010.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport told the Gazette: "As far as we are concerned government policy remains the same as that set out by the Chancellor in his autumn statement.
"We are looking at all options for airport expansion other than a third runway at Heathrow. We will be seeking views on how to address this before we publish our report in the summer."
For a full report see this Wednesday's Uxbridge Gazette.