The government is set to announce a consultation on building a new airport in the Thames Estuary outside London within weeks, it was reported on Wednesday.
Prime Minister David Cameron is in favour of the idea, which was first proposed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, although he will not make a decision until it has been properly examined, The Daily Telegraph reported.
London's Heathrow airport, the world's busiest in terms of international passenger traffic, is almost at full capacity but ministers have ruled out building another runway because of environmental and residents' concerns.
Passengers can also access the capital via airports at Gatwick, London City, Stansted and Luton, but they are considered insufficient to meet demand and there are fears that businesses will suffer.
Citing sources within Cameron's Downing Street office, The Daily Telegraph said an announcement on the government's aviation strategy was due in March.
Johnson, a member of Cameron's Conservative party, has proposed the building of a new airport on an artificial island in the Thames -- dubbed "Boris island" -- to the less populated east of London.
However, environmentalists say it is an important sanctuary for wildlife.
Source: AFP European Edition