The final planning application for Heathrow’s third runway will be a ‘test’ of Boris Johnson’s commitment to tackling climate change, according to the Shadow Transport Secretary.

The Prime Minister once vowed to ‘lay down in front of bulldozers’ to prevent the expansion, but as the airport confirmed a further submission for later this year, it is now down to his government to decide if the controversial development goes ahead.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will oversee the decision to permit a Development Consent Order, dependent on the proposals being compatible with the UK’s climate measures.

Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald said: “This is make your mind up time for this government.”

“Grant Shapps has to decide if he is serious about tackling climate change or not.

“Does anyone really think it is the right time to increase emissions into the atmosphere?”

A statement from the airport said the submission, which will come after an eight-week public consultation starting in April, will set out to: “Restate Heathrow’s commitment to ensuring an expanded Heathrow meets strict environmental targets."

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury, whose constituency is under the Heathrow flight path, raised her objections to the plans.

She said: “We already know that a third runway will mean more noise, more congestion and more disruption across west London.

“Likewise, the ever-growing threat of the climate crisis means we need to be reducing our emissions; not pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere.”

Handling more than 80million passengers and some 470,000 flights made Heathrow Europe’s busiest airport last year and a third runway would drastically increase its capacity and reduce delays.

Anti-expansion campaigners have renewed their criticism of the development this week.

Geraldine Nicholson, of the Stop Heathrow Expansion, said: “This third runway proposal is becoming a bit of a joke.

“We are asked to engage with yet another consultation so Heathrow can sow destruction on our environment for the benefit of its overseas shareholders.

“Residents just want the project to be scrapped at the very earliest opportunity.”