HEATHROW airport's owners have claimed they are satisfied after the Government decided to again delay making a decision on expansion.
Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon was expected to announce whether his department supported plans for a third runway later this month.
However, this morning he issued a statement saying the decision will now not be made until January.
He recognised there were "strong views" on the issue and repeated the Government's support for the scheme provided strict environmental limits could be met.
He said: "I share the desire on all sides of the House, and among the wider public for this issue to be resolved. I am equally aware of the importance of reaching the right conclusion,
"I know that there are strong views across a range of interests. I will ensure that I give proper consideration to the evidence before me and will therefore take more time before making an announcement to the House, in January 2009."
In response a BAA spokesman said: "Given the complexity of the issues involved, we understand why the Government is taking further time to consider these matters.
"We welcome the fact that the Government has now committed to making a decision in January on how we keep Heathrow and this country globally competitive by maintaining our direct access to the world."