The Government today backed a new runway at Stansted airport, Essex by 2011-2012 and an extra, short runway to follow at Heathrow.
But the Heathrow runway is not envisaged until the period 2015-2020 and then only if strict noise and air quality levels are met, a White Paper on future air travel outlined today.
The Government, in the White Paper, also supported a new runway at Birmingham airport, possibly around 2016, and another runway at Edinburgh airport, possibly by 2020.
It also backed the lengthening of runways at Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle and Leeds Bradford airports.
The White Paper said there might be a need for runway extensions at Aberdeen and Inverness, while there was also scope for a runway extension at Teesside airport in the North East.
But there are no plans to develop Gatwick airport in West Sussex before 2019, and the plan to build a £9 billion new Thames Estuary airport at Cliffe in northern Kent has been scrapped.
Among other options ruled out today in the 173-page White Paper are a new airport in the Severn Estuary near Newport in south Wales, a new Midlands airport, a new runway at Luton, and a new central Scotland airport.
Also scrapped today were plans for a new airport north of Bristol and a new runway at East Midlands airport in Leicestershire.
But the Government did say that land should be safeguarded at Gatwick for a new runway after 2019 in case conditions attached to the extra runway at Heathrow were not met, and because there was a "strong case" for Gatwick on its own merits.
The White Paper supported the provision of additional terminal capacity at Manchester airport, substantial terminal development at Glasgow and possible terminal development at Cardiff.
Regional airports where the White Paper envisaged development of terminal facilities included Belfast International, Edinburgh and Bristol.
The Government wants more use to be made of existing runways at Stansted, Luton and Heathrow.The White Paper, published by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling today, set out the framework for future development of air transport in the UK over the next 30 years. Reuse content