Stansted Airport’s second runway has been delayed for a second time as the UK Government awaits an appeal against an anti-competition ruling.

The local government minister announced that the start of Stansted G2 public inquiry will proceed when the government decides that it was right to do so.

This announcement does not alter the fact that the new runway capacity is urgently required if the UK is to preserve its global economic competitiveness, and the case for a second runway at Stansted remains a strong one, according to airport senior official.

BAA, the airport operator in the UK is appealing against an order by competition regulators to sell three airports, including London Stansted, within two years.

The public inquiry was scheduled to begin on 15 April 2009, but the government’s top official has delayed announcing a timetable for the inquiry.