The Freedom to Fly Coalition has warned transport secretary Alistair Darling that the aviation industry will have to cut swathes of regional flights unless Heathrow is expanded.
According to Epolitix, the coalition predicted that if Heathrow does not get an extra runway, internal flight capacity will be dramatically reduced as demand for international landing slots grows.
'We must seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plan ahead now to deal with the growth in aviation over the next thirty years,' said coalition leader Baroness Brenda Dean, advising that whatever decisions the government makes now will have significant impact over the next several decades.
'That means balancing the needs of passengers, the economy, society and the environment, making best use of existing airport infrastructure,' she said.
'If we fail to do that, our economy and our jobs will suffer, and it will mean more delays, less choice, and higher prices.'
The government consultation regarding airport expansion is due to end on Monday.