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Tuesday, 4 September, 2001, 05:37 GMT 06:37 UK
Noise fears over airport plans
London City Airport
Expanding waiting areas could help cut aircraft stacking
Plans by London City Airport to increase the amount of space allocated to aircraft waiting on the ground have angered a number of residents living in the area.

Managers say five new stands are needed to help them deal with planned extra flights by companies and passengers using the airport.

But opponents say the application for more stands, which is due to be discussed by Newham Council, will mean more noise, particularly at peak periods.

Recent figures show 1.6 million passengers used the airport last year.

London continues to be the aviation capital of the world and it is not about to be overtaken by anywhere else in Europe

John Stewart, Hacan ClearSkies

But management deny that the increased number of stands will result in more noise.

They claim that more space on the ground will mean fewer aircraft having to circle overhead, or stack, waiting to land.

Together with Heathrow and Stansted, recent statistics show London's airports were ahead of the next busiest city airport which is Chicago.

Airlines and the larger business users say a fifth terminal at Heathrow is necessary if London is to compete with its foreign rivals.

Figures produced by the anti-noise group, Hacan ClearSkies say Heathrow passenger numbers increased from 54.5 million five years ago, to 64.6 million in 2000.

John Stewart, who chairs Hacan ClearSkies, said the statistics "destroyed the claims of the aviation industry that London is falling behind its main competitors".

"London continues to be the aviation capital of the world and it is not about to be overtaken by anywhere else in Europe."

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