Heathrow today used record January passenger numbers to push its case for a third runway.

Travellers using the west London hub rose by 1.1% year-on-year to 5.8 million – the 15th consecutive record month.

The figures were released as the airport started a ten-week public consultation into its multi-billion pound expansion plans.

Domestic flights were described as a key driver of growth last month.

People on UK flights to and from Heathrow were up 6.9% following  increased uptake of Flybe services to Scotland.

South Asia and Latin America also saw “remarkable growth,” up 11.3% and 6.9% respectively but North America numbers fell by 0.8% to 1.218 million and Middle East by 1.8% to 632,000.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow is off to a flying start, with record passenger numbers and cargo volumes and the start of our public consultation on the third runway.

“Heathrow expansion will provide the global trading routes to super-charge Britain’s economy as we leave the EU.”