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Tuesday, 13 November, 2001, 17:03 GMT
'Dangers' of Heathrow T5
Plane over homes near Heathrow
Safety issues were explored at the T5 inquiry
Campaigners have said the latest plane crash in New York strengthens the case against a fifth terminal (T5) at Heathrow.

Members of Heathrow association for the control of aircraft noise (Hacan) say people living under the flightpath will be more at risk if Heathrow expands.

They say if there is a need for more airport capacity in the south east it should be built away from large areas of population.

The association's comments followed the crash involving the American Airlines in the residential area of Rockaway Beach in Queen's shortly after take off from John F Kennedy airport on Monday.

Coastal airport

Monica Robb, vice-chairman of Hacan, said: "The crash impresses the dangers of planes coming in to land and taking off over the communities.

"London is the most affected as planes come over one of the most densely-populated areas in the world.

"This is one of the arguments we have against building T5."

John Stewart, chairman of Hacan, said: "If expansion is required, the government needs to look at building new airport capacity where people don't live.

"That probably means a coastal airport."

'Difficult time'

The campaign group said it has been told the government decision on T5 will be announced within 10 days.

A spokeswoman for BAA Heathrow said: "Issues regarding safety and security were examined in great detail at the T5 inquiry.

"Evidence presented by BAA showed there to be no significant increase in the risk to safety as a result of T5

She said it was "disappointing" that Heathrow opponents were trying to further their cause during a difficult time for the UK aviation industry.

"We understand that people may be concerned about air safety.

"We are in no doubt that in reaching a T5 decision, the government will have taken into account any possible safety concerns."

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