Heathrow Airport's chief executive has reinforced the need to expand the airport after a "bumper" Easter broke cargo and passenger records for April.

John Holland-Kaye has emphasised the demand for greater space after the airport recorded its best April on record as cargo volumes increased 12% and passenger numbers 11% from the same month in 2016.

He said: “Heathrow had a bumper April.

"Growth in 2017 has been faster than most expected, reinforcing the need for more capacity at the nation’s hub.

“Britain’s exports outside the EU are thriving and with Heathrow expansion opening up to 40 new long-haul trading links, the scale of the opportunity across the globe is tremendous.

"We’re working around-the-clock to deliver Britain’s new runway and secure the country’s future as a global trading powerhouse.”

Man previously arrested at Heathrow charged with 'disseminating Islamic State training video'

New York and Dubai were Heathrow’s most popular international destinations in April, with 500,000 travellers.

New Scottish routes also boosted domestic volumes by 19,000 in April.

Cargo volumes grew 27% to Latin America and 19% to South Asia, growing at least twice as fast as volumes to Europe.

Cargo exports to North America saw a growth of 14% in April.

Heathrow Airport's record breaking month comes as Parmjit Dhanda, Executive Director of Back Heathrow, a group which supports the third runway and aims to safeguard local jobs and secure a bright future for the airport, has vowed to pressure the Government into committing to the airport's extenstion.

Parmjit Dhanda, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining this vital campaign at such an exciting time.

“I know how important Heathrow is to local people and I’m determined to make sure that the decision-makers in Westminster listen to residents in our local communities, most of whom support a new runway.

“Heathrow expansion will bring new jobs, apprenticeships and opportunities to the local area, and I will make sure that the Government remains committed to expanding the UK’s largest port.

"But this will not be at any cost.

"I grew up locally and care deeply about the area so I want to ensure that commitments to the local environment are honoured.”

Heathrow expansion: Breaching M25 to build third runway would be costly and could 'derail' plans says British Airways boss

In 2016 ministers agreed to pursue a third runway at Heathrow Airport rather than Gatwick Airport.

Since then there have been discussions to build a third runway that breaches the M25.

The Boss of British Airways, Willie Walsh, recently criticised the idea, believing it could "derail" plans.

Mr Walsh believes a shorter runway at 3,200 metres instead of 3,500 metres, which would not breach the M25, is the best option.

The airport authority believes a shorter runway would have implications of noise on the local community as larger aircraft would be unable to use it for take-offs, limiting respite periods for certain areas under the flight path.

The third runway plans have attracted criticism from campaign groups, made up of mainly residents living near Heathrow, opposing mainly extra noise.

A Parliamentary vote on a third runway at Heathrow is set to be held in the winter of 2017/18.

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can even set it to receive push notifications for all the breaking news in your area.

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Android now!