The construction of a new runway at Palm Beach International Airport in the US may be delayed by a year, according to West Palm Beach City Commissioner Bill Moss.

The commissioner said that federal aviation regulators are currently assessing its effects on adjoining neighbourhoods.

A decision will be made shortly as to whether or not to expand the environmental study’s length, which was scheduled to finish later this year.

Moss added that the deferral would hinder project work. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also intends to conduct additional noise studies in close-by neighbourhoods.

Moss, who was against the new runway proposal, said that if the number of flights is declining then the project may not be viable.

Since 1979 the number of landings and take-offs at the airport has dropped by over 33%. Traffic projections by the FAA, however, depict that airport demand will increase.

FAA officials claim that without the runway the airport will experience over capacity by 2018.

The proposed project involves expansion of the airport’s southernmost general aviation runway to 8,000ft from 3,210ft to cope with bigger commercial jets.