The government is to hold a formal consultation on controversial plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary

The consultation on the airport, dubbed “Boris Island” because of its backing from London Mayor Boris Johnson, is expected to be announced in March, the BBC reports.

On Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Johnson said there was growing support in Downing Street for a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

He said: “The government is increasingly interested in this idea and I think that George, in particular, and Dave understand the logic of doing something to alleviate the problem [of capacity].”

He said it be a “disaster” to pursue a third runway at Heathrow.

Downing Street has said that no decisions have been made but that ministers want to “explore all options for maintaining the UK’s status as a global aviation hub”.

The prime minister has previously ruled out any further expansion to Heathrow.