The boss of Heathrow Airport has again insisted that expansion at the west London hub is the "right choice" ahead of a long-awaited UK government decision. 

John Holland-Kaye said in a trading update that British Prime Minister Theresa May is "showing leadership", despite being accused of kicking the can even further down the road than her predecessor, David Cameron.

"Heathrow is the right choice to help make Britain stronger and fairer for everyone - and we stand ready to deliver the runway that will keep Britain a confident, outward-looking trading nation as soon as we get the green light from Government," he stated.

The long-awaited decision on whether to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow or to expand at Gatwick is set to be revealed later this month. 

But Mrs May has signalled that the "formal process" would need further consultation before an eventual vote by MPs, which could see the saga drag on further. 

Results for the first nine months of 2016 show that Heathrow slumped to a £293m loss after it was hit by exceptional items. This compares with a £552m profit the same time last year. 

Stripping out exceptional items, pre-tax profit increased 11% to £202m. Revenue rose 1.3% to £2.1 billion.

Heathrow added that a record 57.3 million passengers used the airport during the period, up 0.7%.

The Davies Commission recommended a third runway at Heathrow, but Mrs May stressed that the other two options in the report - expanding Gatwick or lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow - were "credible and deliverable".