Plans to build a new runway at one of Britain's fastest growing airports look likely to be delayed.
Expansion at Stansted Airport is going to be delayed by a year
The government believed a second runway could be built at Stansted Airport in Essex around 2011 or 2012.
But owners BAA said the earliest a new runway could be completed was 2013 and even that was "a challenging target".
Airport managers revealed the delay in a progress report to investors and analysts and blamed others involved in the project for failing to keep pace.
Alastair McDermid, the new runway's project director, said: "Because of the complexities and challenges thrown up by road, rail and regional planning, the project has moved at a slower pace than originally expected.
"Consequently, we now see 2013 as the earliest completion date and that itself is a challenging target."
Several campaign groups are fighting expansion at Stansted but have not yet responded to news of the delay.