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Airport operator BAA abandoned proposals for a 3,500 m third runway at Heathrow Airport on Monday, citing environmental reasons.A spokeswoman said: 'The Government came up with options to increase runway capacity in the South-East.'Economically, a third runway at Heathrow is best. But the environmental cost was too great. It would have meant the loss of 3,300 homes. We would not have got planning permission for that.'BAA will press hard instead for the proposed £1 billion fifth terminal to handle extra traffic.It has signalled its determination to push through this controversial project by hiring top political lobbyist Des Wilson to mastermind its campaign for planning permission.BAA faces a huge battle as public opinion hardens against the new terminal because of concerns over more aircraft noise.Mr Wilson is seen as having strong environmental credentials to help BAA rebut 'green' attacks.He founded the campaign for lead-free petrol, and is a former chairman of the environmental group Friends of the Earth. He also directed the Liberal Democrats' 1992 general election campaign. Party supporters have been prominent in the local campaign against Terminal Five. CONSTRUCTION NEWS