HAL Apologises For Broken Promises - Now It Uses Back Heathrow
Mr John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL), has apologised to the residents of the Heathrow Villages for promises that the former British Airports Authority (BAA) made to them in the past and has broken. He said these commitments not to expand should never have been made and were impossible to keep.
These promises were usually made when approval for one expansion scheme or another was being sought and were designed to quell protest against the particular scheme. Building Terminal Five is a prime example.
HAL has accepted that many times in the past it has been less than truthful. Nigel Milton, the public face of HAL, would have us believe that this time HAL has turned over a new leaf and gone are the lies and half-truths of the past. Well, this week at the Airports Commission consultation meeting, Back Heathrow has been totally exposed as the paid mouthpiece of HAL. As a result, Back Heathrow will no longer be able to masquerade as a ‘grass roots’ group.
MPs, councillors, the Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) group and residents from across the region affected by Heathrow queued up to add vocal weight to the condemnation of a group that is founded on lies. Any new statements that HAL and Back Heathrow make need to be considered as one and the same – and taken with a massive pinch of salt.
The 50,000 ‘supporters’ they claim, built up from loaded freepost questionnaires, would be a good figure to disregard first. I am sure some members are genuine supporters but I suspect many more may have been duped. I am sure that Sir Howard Davies has noted this deceit and I am hopeful he will draw his own conclusions about other HAL and Back Heathrow information put to his Commission for consideration.
HAL has already been found lacking in its true cost projections. The Davies Commission estimates that it’s estimate of the cost is short to the tune of £4 billion. There is no place for such over-optimistic ‘errors’ when it comes to critical issues like pollution levels. Misleading information or questionnaires, over-optimism or plain simple lying will not be accepted by this community when our health and survival are at risk again.
Neil Keveren. Unpaid volunteer, Chairman of SHE - truly grass roots