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Silence of Heathrow's Terminal 5 is broken at last

Air passengers arriving at the UK's biggest airport described their relief to be home last night.

The first plane to land at Heathrow's Terminal Five at 9.40pm was a British Airways flight from Vancouver.

An unusual quiet at the terminal was soon broken as passengers began coming through the arrivals doors shortly after 10pm.

Neil Rodgers, the first passenger through the doors, said: “It's good to be back.”

Like many of the passengers on the flight he had spent five days in an airport hotel in Vancouver after his intended flight was forced to turn back.

The passengers only discovered they would be landing in London when they were about an hour away, having circled over Shannon airport in Ireland.

Mr Rodgers, from Little London, near Reading, said the atmosphere on board was “great”, adding: “It's quite something to be the first back.”

Asked about the volcanic ash, he said: “It's one of those things you can't do anything about.

“As we were coming in to land I was quite concerned as we were coming through the cloud.”

Mr Rodgers, who works as a group finance director, said he was looking forward to getting home to see his 10-year-old daughter, Georgia.

David Jack (37), from Dumfermline in Scotland, who arrived on the same flight, said: “We did notice that we seemed to come down really fast from about 23,000 feet.

“It was a very fast approach and landing, a lot faster than you would normally expect.”

Asked about safety, Mr Jack, a student at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh added: “Everyone felt that if the pilot was happy to fly then we were happy to get on.”

Carol Betton-Dunn (37), from Chelsea, was more nervous.

She said: “It was very stressful. I was quite anxious.

“I wanted to get home but I would rather have stayed in Vancouver if I thought there was a chance there might be a problem with the flight.”

Belfast Telegraph