The Department of Transport has cleared Prime Minister Theresa May to approve a third runway at Heathrow, it is reported.
The Times says that DoT officials have said that the environmental impact of the North West runway option favoured by the airport are not sufficient to obstruct a decision for the plan to proceed.
It is hoped that the decision could pass through parliament in around 18 months, but then the plan would need to pass through the planning process, and also face a series of probable legal challenges, including ones from some of the local councils, so construction is still probably a decade away.
It has been suggested that Gatwick could plan and build its own new runway in the meantime, to allow more flights to enter the UK, but The Times reports this is not an option favoured by Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport.
The report suggests a decision could be made as early as next week.