Company bosses call for extra London runway

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Heathrow airport should have “preferably two more runways”, business leaders have said.

Planning permission should be sought now so a second runway can be built at Gatwick some time after 2019, the report from the Institute of Directors (IoD) added.

The Air Passenger Duty (APD) airport departure tax was “much too high” and should be frozen, and visa and immigration systems should be improved, the IoD said.

Entitled Flying into the Future, yesterday’s report said: “Heathrow should expand by one, or preferably two, runways.”

In a poll, 59 per cent of IoD members said a lack of capacity at Heathrow was damaging inward investment. A local agreement means that no extra runways can be built at Gatwick in West Sussex before 2019.

An IoD adviser wrote: “We cannot afford to ignore the reality that demand for air travel in south east England will soon be more than our airports can handle.”