The owner of Stansted is reportedly planning to challenge figures used by the Airport Commission to rule it out of contention for a new runway.

Heathrow and Gatwick were shortlisted for possible expansion last week in the commission’s interim report while Stansted’s plans were omitted.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of the Essex airport’s owner Manchester Airports Group, questioned the commission’s forecasts for passenger growth and the cost of building a second runway.

MAG has not ruled out the possibility of seeking a judicial review, the Sunday Times reported.

Commission chairman Sir Howard Davies ruled out Stansted and almost 50 other options for new runways.

Cornish was quoted as saying: “Our forecasts are more robust than theirs because the starting points are fundamentally different.

“We believe Stansted is in the right place because London is growing fast.”

He added: “We need to understand the commission’s view on forecasts and why they are different to ours. That may be a process of understanding and sharing information rather than going for a judicial review.”

The commission says Stansted could be an option for growth in the 2040s.