What is the Heathrow Community Engagement Board (HCEB)
The HCEB is a new independent body that has been established to give those who live, work and travel through Heathrow more influence over how Heathrow operates today and how it may grow in the future. Last year it was agreed that the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC) would take on the additional responsibilities of the community engagement board, as set out in the governments draft airports national policy statement (NPS). The HCEB was officially formed in January 2018. It will be a focal point for engagement with communities, airport users, local authorities and interest groups.
Why has the HACC become the HCEB ?
The Community Engagement Board was established following a recommendation by the Airports Commission to ensure airport stakeholders, local authorities, communities, passengers and interest groups can contribute effectively to the planning process for the proposed expansion of the airport in addition to it’s broader functions as an oversight body.
The original HACC was established in 1956 and was constituted to meet the requirements of Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 (as amended by the Airports Act 1986) for an airport to provide adequate facilities for consultation with respect to any matter concerning the management or administration of the airport which affects the interests of users of the airport, local authorities and any other organisation representing the interests of persons concerned with the locality in which the airport is situated.
The original work of the HACC continues within the new HCEB.
Who Chairs the HCEB ?
The HCEB is chaired by Rachel Cerfontyne who was selected by a panel drawn from the HCEB Delivery Group. This panel was made up of representatives from the new HCEB, Heathrow, the Department for Transport and a local resident group and unanimously agreed that Rachel Cerfontyne would provide the necessary open and independent leadership to evolve the work of the new Board and represent the interests of all communities associated with Heathrow Airport.
The vacancy was advertised openly in the national press, online and the role specification was circulated amongst the full membership of the HCEB. A recruitment consultancy was used to both source candidates and manage the process on behalf of the HCEB.
What is the HCEB’s role in the proposed expansion of Heathrow?
The establishment of a community engagement board was a recommendation of the Airports Commission and is a requirement in the Government’s draft National Policy Statement (NPS). The NPS is clear that the HCEB should be engaged throughout the planning process for the proposed expansion of Heathrow. The HCEB will therefore play a key role in ensuring that communities are able to contribute effectively to the planning process and influence the plans. However, the HCEB has an important and long-term role regardless of whether the airport expands or not.
What is the membership of the HCEB?
The HCEB membership currently reflects the membership of the HACC and is made up of representatives from local authorities; passenger and airport users; and interest groups. One of the first priorities of the Chair is to review the membership and ensure it adequately reflects community views.
How is it funded?
Funding for the HCEB is provided by Heathrow Airport Ltd however the Chair has total discretion about how the funds are used.
How can I interact with the HCEB ?
The HCEB encourages contact from individuals and organisations who have an interest or an opinion on the day to day operation of Heathrow Airport and its future. Contact is best initiated via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or attendance at one of our full meetings which are always published on the HCEB website well in advance. The Chair and members of the HCEB are also very willing to visit communities and organisations when that can be scheduled.
The Chair will shortly be publishing a regular blog on this website with news of her activities and community interaction.
What can I expect from the HCEB moving forward ?
The new Chair’s early priority is getting out and about, meeting people in the local communities and hearing their views. The HCEB is keen to listen and learn and to ensure that the membership and activities of the HCEB are shaped by the key stakeholders, especially Heathrow's closest neighbours. The website will grow to become an important resource and the organisation is looking at its structure and meeting cycle to ensure maximum community engagement.