Controversial proposals for a new airport in the Thames Estuary are being backed by Downing Street, according to reports in the Financial Times.
The plans, for a four-runway 'hub' airport in the estuary to relieve pressure on the overstretched south east's airports, was until recently seen as an eccentric idea supported mainly by London's mayor, Boris Johnson (pictured).
However, according to a report in the FT, Chancellor George Osborne may have changed his mind about the proposals. Originally a sceptic, he is now looking favourably on the idea, according to several sources.
If it goes ahead, the airport may be built on reclaimed land on the Isle of Grain and would cost up to £50bn and means that Britain would boast the biggest airport in the world.
Supporters of the airport believe that much of the financing could come from the private sector.
The new airport could serve 150 million passengers a year, but local opposition from MPs, locals, councillors and the RSPB is staunch.
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