Prime Minister David Cameron and key members of his government will hold a closed-door session to consider their response to contentious proposals to build a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

Cameron had promised a firm decision by the end of this year on whether to choose Heathrow or Gatwick for London-area airport expansion. Business leaders argue Britain needs more airport capacity to keep the economy growing.

But there is opposition to the Heathrow plan from environmentalists and politicians with nearby constituencies.

Thursday's meeting comes amid speculation that a decision will be delayed, in part because of environmental issues raised in a parliamentary report earlier this month.

Cameron's critics suspect he wants to delay the decision to boost the chances of Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith in London's May mayoral election.