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Flight path home risk comes under scrutiny

PUBLISHED: 17:02 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 11:11 12 August 2010

AN MP has called for flight paths to change to reduce risks of further accidents following the Farnborough plane crash. Orpington MP John Horam is due to meet with Captain Lowe, responsible for safety on the Regional Airport Limited board, in the next f

AN MP has called for flight paths to change to reduce risks of further accidents following the Farnborough plane crash.

Orpington MP John Horam is due to meet with Captain Lowe, responsible for safety on the Regional Airport Limited board, in the next few weeks.

The meeting was suggested by the chairman of Biggin Hill airport, Andrew Walters, and Mr Horam said he would enquire whether flight paths can be altered to minimise risk to residents.

He said: "I will be investigating to see if the routes can be changed. It's not ideal to have the flight path over the hospital and densely populated housing estates. I will ask about the approach the aircrafts take and see if they can go over the valley, where there are less people."

The plane narrowly missed the Princess Royal University Hospital when it crashed into a house on Romsey Close, Orpington. Since 2004, officials from the hospital have written letters to the airport to express their concern about expansion due to noise levels and the risk of accidents.

In a letter dated January 26 2006, Trevor Willis wrote to Peter Lonergan, the airport director, saying: "In our view the noise levels are not acceptable for a patient-care setting and we have pointed this out to you several times.

"Although you indicate that a protocol is being developed, it remains a fact that nothing is in place to satisfy our very real worries about safety and noise."

In a letter dated February 28, 2006, Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive John Watkinson wrote to objectors of Biggin Hill Aiport: "Our concerns range from the noise levels of aircraft to fuel emissions, and the risk of an incident.

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