LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) - Senior British ministers are set to approve a new runway at London's Heathrow airport, paving the way for lawmakers to vote on the issue later this month, and building to start in the coming years.
Heathrow is Europe's busiest airport but it is now full. In the past plans to expand the airport have faced opposition from local communities, environmentalists and some lawmakers, but the current 14 billion pound ($18.64 billion) expansion plan is likely to get the go-ahead.
The BBC reported that the cabinet is expected to back the plan on Tuesday, following which the transport minister Chris Grayling will make a statement in parliament, with a vote taking place within 21 days.
An independent commission recommended Heathrow as the site for a new runway in 2015, saying that adding capacity there would bring the country the greatest economic benefits and government has based its national policy statement on these findings.
The approval is expected despite some high profile opposition from lawmakers including foreign minister Boris Johnson. Polling by ComRes shows that a majority of lawmakers intend to vote in favour of expanding Heathrow. ($1 = 0.7510 pounds) (Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Alistair Smout)