Howard Davies, the former chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), is to head up a commission looking into the possibility of a new airport in the south east, according to reports.
Having steered the regulator between 1997 and 2003, he will now be responsible for deciding whether to bow to the demands of the airlines industry and recommend a third runway at Heathrow.
From the other side will come the argument that a new airport in the Thames Estuary - dubbed ‘Boris Island' because of the Mayor of London's fervent backing - would be the best long-term option.
An establishment figure, he most recently hit the headlines after being forced to resign from the London School of Economics after the university accepted a £1.5m gift from a foundation led by one of Colonel Gaddafi's sons.
However, his upturn in fortunes has been swift, with closed fund consolidator Phoenix Group recently appointing him as its chairman.
He was previously a deputy governor of the Bank of England between 1995 and 1997, having been director general of the CBI between 1992 and 1995.
His CV also includes stints working as a special adviser to Nigel Lawson, when he was Chancellor, and he currently sits on the boards of Morgan Stanley and Prudential.
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