A BEXLEY MP has added his voice to the chorus of opposition to plans to expand commercial flights at Biggin Hill airport.

Derek Conway's constituency includes Sidcup, which is in the flightpath for the Bromley Council-owned airport.

Biggin Hill Airport Ltd, which leases the commercial airport from Bromley Council, wants to expand to include charter flights for up to 500,000 passengers a year flying to destinations across Britain and Europe.

If it is successful, the airport would open for an extra 17 hours a week to accommodate an additional 8,000 take-offs and landings.

Flights to and from Biggin Hill travel across Bexley, including directly above Queen Mary's Hospital, Sidcup. And by the time they reach the Sidcup area the planes are flying as low as 237ft.

Mr Conway said: "I have had many complaints from Sidcup residents about noise from aircraft and Biggin Hill has not been scheduled for such expansion in the debates on national airport extensions. This is back-door expansion and is unwelcome."

He added: "The changes would increase commercial passenger flights, over extended hours, at Biggin Hill. The take-off and landing flightpath is over Bexley and much of Sidcup, so sky traffic will increase markedly."

Mr Conway has protested to Bromley Council about the plans and has also written to the minister for aviation to protest at the lack of consultation.

Bexley's London Assembly member Bob Neill is also opposed to the expansion plan and has won the support of London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

Mr Livingstone has said he can see no justification for the expansion, saying it would require a high-speed rail link to the airport, which is not logistically viable.

Sidcup residents were part of the previous successful campaign in 2000 to defeat the airport's expansion plans.

Biggin Hill's latest plans are also being opposed by Flightpath the pressure group of residents and interest groups.

A spokesman for Biggin Hill Airport said: "We are not aware of an approach to the airport from Mr Conway about his concerns. We are surprised because complaints about the airport's activities from residents in Bexley and Sidcup are extremely rare.

"Biggin Hill's proposals for a limited number of scheduled services on relatively small passenger aircraft would create little change in noise."

A final decision will be taken by Bromley Council.