According to a report commissioned by the west London terminal, the creation of the runway could boost Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) by up to £24,480 per family over a 60-year period.
In comparison, the study carried out by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr), estimated that a second runway at Gatwick airport would produce a lift of just £13,280 over the same period.
Expanding Heathrow over Gatwick would also deliver a larger economic boost to other regions of the UK Cebr forecast, with a third Heathrow runway providing £56 billion more in “GDP benefits” to areas beyond London and the south-east compared to Gatwick, The Telegraph reports.
“What this analysis shows is the centrality of Heathrow to the British economy,” Vicky Pryce, chief economic adviser at Cebr, said. “There can be few more important decisions the government must make, especially after the EU referendum.”
The report comes as Heathrow steps up its campaigning to win government backing for its expansion plans.
According to The Telegraph, the terminal is seeking to capitalise on the UK’s Brexit vote by arguing that the country’s decision to leave the EU makes a new £17.6 billion runway even more vital to the country’s economy.
Prime minister Theresa May will decide in October whether to expand Heathrow or Gatwick.
“Heathrow is a political and economic commitment to make Brexit stronger and fairer,” John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s chief executive said. “It is now time to make the right choice for Brexit success and expand Heathrow.”
Despite the new report, a number of prominent government MPs, including Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Justine Greening, the education secretary, are opposed to a third runway, which strengthens Gatwick’s case for an additional landing strip in West Sussex.
In addition, May’s constituency of Maidenhead is overflown by planes using Heathrow and has previously expressed concerns about its expansion, The Telegraph added.