Bosses at Wolverhampton Airport have promised to draw up new expansion plans after the shock withdrawal of its previous application.
The airport had a Monday deadline to submit a new environmental statement to South Staffordshire District Council but instead announced it was formally dropping the entire proposal.
The airport's environmental statement had to be rewritten after a report published in February by independent consultants WS Atkins criticised the original document.
Campaigners against expansion of the Halfpenny Green airfield, seven miles south-west of Wolverhampton near the Staffordshire-Shropshire border, last night admitted they were "bemused".
Peter Wheelen, a spokesman for the Wolverhampton Airport Action Group, said: "In a recent statement, chief executive Paul Whelan commented that his current proposals for the airfield had attracted little opposition, which seemed to overlook the 27,000 letters of objections previously lodged with the Government regarding any attempt by the airfield to expand, as well as the opposition of virtually every parish council within a tenmile radius and a cross-party group of eight MPs."
In a statement Mr Whelan said: "We have been asked to provide additional information to back up this planning application and, given the time constraints and other factors, we have decided to formally withdraw the application and resubmit a new application to reflect new positive factors which have come to light in the past three months."