Almost three quarters of MPs polled for Gatwick back the airport’s expansion plans through better use of its runways.

The results emerged as the airport reported that long-haul growth had helped boost November passenger numbers by 5.7% to a record of more than three million passengers over the same month last year.

The YouGov survey of 103 MPs showed that 74% support Gatwick’s proposal to make use of an existing stand-by strip in addition to its main runway to raise capacity.

An earlier poll had shown that 74% of 3,000 residents in Surrey, Sussex and Kent also backed the plans.

The number of people flying to long-haul destinations was up by 11.9% last month as Gatwick revealed that one in six of its 46 million annual passengrs are now long-haul travellers.

Services to Kigali in Rwanda and Colombo, Sri Lanka helped to drive the growth, up 134.1% and 110% respectively.

The first low cost flights to Brazil were announced by Norwegian, with a new route to Rio de Janeiro from March 2019.

The number of passengers travelling to Tromso and Rovaniemi – two of the main entry points to Lapland – rose by 62.8% and 53.9% respectively.

The Isle of Man saw the highest percentage of domestic growth in November, up 8.5%. Jersey grew by 6.4%, while Inverness saw a 4.2% passenger increase.

CEO Stewart Wingate said: “November’s record-breaking passenger and cargo numbers highlight the imperative role that Gatwick continues to play for the country.

“The growth in the number of passengers travelling to Kigali is a great example of how our extensive range of long-haul routes is being embraced by business and leisure travellers from across the UK.

“I’m also delighted that our network has now been bolstered even further by vital new routes to Shanghai with China Eastern and Rio with Norwegian.

“Worldwide connections from Britain will be needed more than ever in the new year and beyond, and in our recently-published draft master plan, we set out our vision for how Gatwick can grow to facilitate this demand for greater global connectivity.

“It’s pleasing to see that, in a YouGov poll of MPs, 74% support our plans to increase capacity by making better use of our existing runways.

“We’re continuing to seek feedback on our draft master plan from the public, including local neighbours and airport partners, as we work to fulfil our role for the country in the most sustainable way.”