Frequently Asked Questions about the HCEB


The Heathrow Community Engagement Board Ltd (HCEB Ltd) was setup and appointed its independent chair earlier this year. Below we take the opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions from the Heathrow community about ourselves. If you have a question about us, please get in touch with the team by emailing

What is the HCEB Ltd?
Our purpose is to ensure that all key stakeholders of Heathrow Airport have the opportunity to contribute to decision making concerning on-going operations and any proposed future development of Heathrow Airport. We plan to promote meaningful and inclusive engagement, which has a demonstrable impact on decision-making at the airport. It will scrutinise and challenge Heathrow Airport’s consultation plans and activities, making recommendations for improvement. We will also hold Heathrow Airport to account for the commitments they have made as part of the development consent process.

How will the HCEB Ltd work?
We will work on sourcing information itself and making public recommendations to Heathrow Airport on a wide range of issues which affect the Heathrow Community. Our aim is to help build the relationships necessary for good long-term engagement and effective consultation. Our core values are: independence, impartiality, inclusivity, transparency and integrity. These values will underpin all of our work.

Is the HCEB Ltd independent from Heathrow Airport?
Yes. We are a company limited by guarantee independent from Heathrow Airport. Our work is overseen by Rachel Cerfontyne, independent chair of the HCEB Ltd.

How is the HCEB Ltd funded?
Heathrow Airport is providing funding for the board’s operations. However, the board has operational independence and is free to use the funding as the Chair sees fit provided that at all times, the funding is used in accordance with the terms of reference which have been set and agreed upon by the board.

Who is Rachel Cerfontyne?
Rachel trained and worked as a social worker before becoming a probation officer. Rachel was most recently Deputy Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, where she spent 9 years improving and maintaining public confidence in the police complaints system and overseen their two largest investigations including the Hillsborough Disaster and the Rotherham Child Sexual Abuse scandal. Having spent her early years in Feltham, a community close to the airport, Rachel has first-hand knowledge of the impacts and importance Heathrow can have on local residents.

Is the HCEB Ltd in favour of or against the expansion of Heathrow Airport?
The board and its chair, Rachel, do not have a view in favour or against the proposed expansion of Heathrow Airport. Rachel has made very clear that our role is not to be a campaigning group for or against any proposed future development of the airport and will remain neutral on the issue of the proposed expansion of the airport.

Will the HCEB Ltd continue to exist after the consultation about the proposed expansion?
Yes. We are the successor body to the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee and will continue to fulfil the duties which the HACC fulfilled in Law.


Sam Matthews