Walsh blamed nimbyism as well as politicians picking vote-winning policies over long-term planning for his pessimism.
Heathrow has been lobbying the government’s Davies Commission for its blessing to build a new runway and cater for growing demand for long-haul flights.
However, the airport has also claimed that recent price caps imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority mean its investors are reluctant to splash out on upgrades.
Heathrow gained a new investor yesterday, when the Universities Superannuation Scheme spent £392m on a 8.65 per cent stake sold by Spanish firm Ferrovial.
“We have confidence that the right incentives will be set in place to encourage the investment that Heathrow and the UK needs,” said Mike Powell, head of private markets for the pension fund.