The Airports Commission has recommended that a third runway be built at Heathrow, in the Davies Report on airport capacity published this morning.

However, it recommended Heathrow only if stringent conditions could be met, including bans on night flights and building a fourth runway in the future.

The report concluded that the new runway will contribute £147bn in economic growth and 70,000 jobs by 2050. It would also connect Britain to 40 new destinations.

Sir Howard Davies, who led the report, told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “Heathrow offers the kind of long-haul connectivity – flights to emerging markets which are very important to the future of the British economy – and expanding it would allow Heathrow to offer more of those flights.”

Heathrow’s biggest competitor, Gatwick, who ran an extensive marketing campaign with the slogan “Gatwick, obviously” were just pipped at the post; Sir Howard said that a second runway at Gatwick was a “credible” option but was less able to provide connections to long-haul destinations and would create lower levels of economic growth.

However, Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said the airport was “still very much in the race”.

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