MPs have backed a third runway at Heathrow, claiming a new landing strip at the airport is long overdue.
The cross-party Commons transport select committee rejected calls for a new Thames estuary airport, dubbed Boris Island, claiming it would lead to the death of Heathrow and have an unacceptable impact on wildlife in the area.
It also claimed expanding other existing airports was not a long-term solution to increasing demand for flights.
Its report on the UK's aviation strategy, published today, concluded a third runway at Heathrow was necessary and even gave cautious backing to a fourth landing strip.
Louise Ellman, who chairs the committee, said an international hub airport was vital for the economy and Heathrow was clearly the best candidate.
"Heathrow – the UK's only hub airport – has been short of capacity for a decade and is currently operating at full capacity," she said.
"We conclude that a third runway at Heathrow is necessary, but also suggest that a four-runway proposal may have merit, especially if expanding to locate two new runways westwards from the current site could curb the noise experienced by people affected under the flight path."
The committee's report also recommends the creation of a national compensation scheme for those affected by noise from Heathrow.
John Stewart, chairman of anti Heathrow expansion campaign group HACAN, dubbed the committee's report 'entirely predictable' but claimed its influence on the final decision would be limited.
Hounslow Council's deputy leader Colin Ellar said: "Now the MPs have had their say, it’s vital Hounslow people make some noise over Heathrow through our consultation, which closes next week.”
The business lobby group London First, meanwhile, has called for mixed mode at Heathrow, which would mean an end to residents' guaranteed half-day of peace, despite the airport's owners having gone cold on the measure.
The recent flurry of reports about Heathrow comes as the May 17 deadline for submissions on short and medium-term measures to the Airports Commission, which is examining the need for expansion, looms.