A third Heathrow runway may lift the UK’s gross domestic product by as much as £24,480 per family over a 60-year period, according to a new report.

The study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), commissioned by Heathrow, shows that this compares with a lift of just £13,280 that would result from building a second runway at Gatwick.

Expanding Heathrow rather than Gatwick would also deliver a bigger economic boost to the UK regions, the consultancy firm said.

A third Heathrow runway would provide £56 billion more in “GDP benefits” to the regions beyond London and the south-east than Gatwick, it was forecast.

Heathrow could add 50,000 more jobs than Gatwick in the short term and almost 100,000 more jobs than Gatwick in the long term.

The Airports Commission and CEBR found that Heathrow has the potential to create more than 50,000 more jobs than Gatwick in the first five years of operation. 

By 2060, Heathrow could create over 98,000 more jobs than Gatwick.  Heathrow expansion has the potential to create an estimated 75,700 more jobs outside of London and the south-east than Gatwick expansion.

CEBR chief economic adviser, Vicky Pryce, said: “Airport expansion has been a thorny issue for governments of every political hue. What this analysis shows is the centrality of Heathrow to the British economy.

“There can be few more important decisions the government must make, especially after the EU referendum. The price of making the wrong decision by the prime minister will be a political and economic gamble that could be costly for decades.

“If we are to succeed outside of the European Union, every choice the government makes must aim to deliver a stronger, more competitive economy and seek to encourage growth in the regions, as well as in London. 

“On both those measures, this report shows Heathrow’s future will be crucial in reducing the uncertainties of a post-Brexit world.”

Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, added: “Heathrow connects cargo and people from all of Britain to new markets around the world.  Gatwick mainly connects London and Southern England to European destinations. 

“This report shows that expanding Heathrow will help strengthen an airport that works for the whole of the UK, not just London and the south.

“Heathrow is a political and economic commitment to make Brexit stronger and fairer. That is why businesses support Heathrow expansion, the unions support Heathrow expansion and an overwhelming majority of MPs support Heathrow expansion. 

“It is now time to make the right choice for Brexit success and expand Heathrow.”