The Airports National Policy Statement consultation, open until 19 December, will form the basis for the decision on a third runway at Heathrow

Grimshaw's aerial view of Heathrow

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has launched the latest consultation on the revised draft of the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS).

The statement is to be used as the basis for a decision on the expansion of Heathrow Airport, which has already been flagged as the government’s preferred option for increasing aviation capacity in the south of the country.

Grayling, in launching the consultation, also insisted that the government was on track to publish the final proposals for expansion at Heathrow in the first half of next year prior to a vote in Parliament.

Approval of the ANPS document by MPs is required to enable a planning application to be brought forward for Heathrow’s new north-west runway.

Grayling said the updated airport demand forecasts contained within the ANPS showed the need for extra capacity was “even greater than originally thought”, with all five of the capital’s main airports expected to be full by the mid-2030s and four of them within a decade.

He added that the government would also work to look beyond the expansion of Heathrow and set up a long-term vision for the sector, which would include looking at “any future need for new capacity away from Heathrow”.

The public have until 19 December to comment on the updated document, which will also be under Parliamentary scrutiny until 23 March next year.