Branson backs new runways

Virgin Atlantic Chairman Sir Richard Branson has become one of the first major players in the aviation industry to back new plans for a second runway at Gatwick.

The Sussex Airport announced a week ago it was pressing ahead with the controversial proposal.

Some local people say it will double the number of flights and noise. Others say it will create thousands of jobs and boost the local economy.

In an exclusive interview with Meridian he says he also wants two extra Heathrow runways.

The tycoon from Oxford has been in Mumbai where he's been launching a route from Heathrow and promoting trade links between the UK and India.

He says the Government should stop dithering and take urgent decisions on expansion in the south.

A legal agreement means a new Gatwick runway could not be built before 2019.

He spoke to Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse.

Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Steve Ridgway also says he's concerned about the state of the aviation industry in the south.

The airline boss, who lives in Sussex, has been talking about the route the company is running from Heathrow to Mumbai and tells Mike Pearse about why the industry is in a poor state.