Heathrow Airport
The Airports Commission has already backed a third Heathrow runway over Gatwick expansionGetty Images

More than 50 business leaders have urged Prime Minister David Cameron to approve the Airports Commission's recommendation to expand Heathrow and to schedule a parliamentary vote on a third runway by next summer at the latest.

In a public letter to ministers, senior executives from sectors including retail, banking, construction, academia and transport have asked the government to back the commission's recommendation.

The letter was coordinated by the airport expansion campaign group Let Britain Fly and has been sent to the Prime Minister and the members of the new cabinet subcommittee on aviation.

Sir Martin Sorrell, Lord Simon Wolfson, Sir Mike Rake and a number of business leaders from many FTSE 100 companies are signatories in the letter.

"After nearly three years examining the evidence the view of the Airports Commission is unequivocal: Britain needs airport expansion and the best solution is to build a new runway at Heathrow," the letter reads.

"We back this recommendation and believe the Government must now provide a swift and positive response to the Commission's Final Report that sets out a clear timetable for an early Parliamentary vote to take place by summer 2016."

They noted that the new runway is urgent, as Heathrow is already full for a decade and all other major airports in London are likely to be full by the end of the next decade. The letter added that the expansion will ensure long-term prosperity and create jobs and growth for future generations.

The Airports Commission, which submitted its report earlier in July, highlighted that the Heathrow expansion would boost the economy by £147bn (€208bn, $230bn) and create 70,000 new jobs. It was established in 2012 and was led by Sir Howard Davies.

The business leaders also mentioned increasing competition from neighbouring countries.

"Amsterdam already has six runways, whilst Paris and Frankfurt each have four. Heathrow has only two runways. As a result Paris now has fifty per cent more flights to China," the letter said.

"Whilst earlier this year Dubai International overtook Heathrow as the world's busiest international airport. So we are becoming less competitive as a global aviation hub at a time when our competitors have plans to build over fifty new runways globally."