The introduction of a third runway at Heathrow would mean charges at the airport would have to double, Gatwick’s chief executive Stewart Wingate has claimed.

Ahead of the first report from the Airport Commission tomorrow, Wingate said expanding Heathrow would spell the end of affordable air fares.

Sir Howard Davies will publish a shortlist of locations where new runways could be built in the South East.

According to The Telegraph, Wingate said the airport has carried out economic modeling which shows Heathrow’s landing charges would have to double to meet the costs of building a third runway.

Wingate believes that most demand for air travel in the next 20 years will come from short-haul trips to Europe.

And he said that once Gatwick, Stansted and Luton reach capacity the only option for expanding airlines would be Heathrow.

“Heathrow is already restricted to the legacy carriers and has priced itself out entirely of low-cost. If you double the charges, that’s the end of affordable fares,”

The Telegraph reported that a Heathrow spokesman dismissed the view as “absolutely categorically false”, adding that potential fare rises, if any, would not “even be close” to double.

It is believed only David Cameron and Nick Clegg have been briefed on the contents of the shortlist of options in the Davies report.