Campaigners opposed to the expansion of Stansted Airport have been granted a full judicial review.
Campaigners hope to challenge the aviation White Paper
The Stop Stansted Expansion group believes if successful it would force the government to reconsider its plans to enlarge several other airports.
The campaigners argue the government's aviation White Paper ignored its own rule that expansion of airports must be commercially justifiable.
The Transport Department has said it stands by its White Paper.
No date has yet been set for the judicial review.
The campaigners said Stansted's owner BAA believes a new runway can only be added if it is paid for with money from other airports such as Heathrow.
But the Civil Aviation Authority has already ruled out such a proposal which has been described as "cross-subsidisation"
Carol Barbone, Stop Stansted Expansion campaign director, said: "We are delighted that the High Court has agreed with us that the government has a case to answer in relation to the many flaws and inconsistencies in the Air Transport White Paper.
"We look forward to the full judicial review hearing when we will have an opportunity to take the government to task in the High Court.
"We are determined to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that no government should be allowed to publish a White Paper which disregards the results of its own consultation and flouts the evidence."
A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport said: "We stand by our White Paper and are prepared to answer all the legal challenges in court."