The expansion of London’s Heathrow Airport should be delayed until it can give guarantees that it will meet environmental requirements, a panel of lawmakers said.

A review headed by Howard Davies and published this year recommended a third runway at Heathrow, to the west of London, as the best option for increasing London’s air capacity. Prime Minister David Cameron, who opposed the expansion of the airport before coming to power, has promised a decision by the end of the year.

Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee said a new runway at the airport shouldn’t go ahead without a ban on night flights, and proof that the airport would be quieter than at present.

“The government has a duty to reduce illegal levels of air pollution in London to protect the health and well-being of its population,” committee chairman Huw Irranca-Davies said in an e- mailed statement. “Increased pollution should certainly not be permitted on the grounds that other areas of London are even more polluted.”

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Photo Credit: Aerial view of tomorrow's Heathrow with third runway. The airport refers to this terminal lay-out as a 'toast rack' formation. Heathrow Airport