Proposals for a four-runway airport west of London could be put to the Government as a solution for aviation capacity shortage, it has been claimed.
The Independent on Sunday has revealed that a world-leading infrastructure firm is assessing potential sites to the west and north-west of London.
They are understood to potentially include Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
With an estimated cost of between £40bn and £60bn, the proposed "London West" airport would need to be located within 30 minutes' travel of the capital, according to a briefing document seen by the newspaper.
That would likely place it on the Great Western mainline, which runs from London to Maidenhead, or on the High Speed Two rail link between the capital and Birmingham.
The Coalition is at odds over how to solve the current capacity crisis at airports in the South East and proposals for a third runway at Heathrow or a Thames Estuary airport - backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson - have already caused controversy.
In July, consultation on aviation capacity was delayed for a second time over claims the Conservatives were now considering another runway at Heathrow.
The Liberal Democrats are expected to restate their opposition to airport expansion later this month at the party's annual conference in Brighton.
And in June, Birmingham Airport launched an advertising campaign marketing itself as an alternative international hub to the major London airports.