The Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC) is constituted to meet the requirements of Section 35 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 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”.
Going beyond the requirement in the act to consult, HACC is considered by Heathrow Airport to be its highest-level consultative body and Heathrow Airport commits to engaging openly with the committee and reporting on the degree to which it has taken the committee’s comments on board. Other consultative bodies such as the residents’ Local Focus Forum (LFF) and the Heathrow Area Transport Forum are now to have a seat on HACC. And the Heathrow Noise Forum and HACC will share meeting minutes and the HNF will be invited to attend HACC on occasion. HACC seeks to reach a common understanding between the various parties about the nature and operation of the airport so that issues can be resolved amicably. It is therefore the custom and practice of HACC to ensure that all views are properly reflected.
The committee aims to:
- Foster communication and build understanding between the airport and its users, local authorities and interest groups.
- Consider and comment upon the impacts of the airport’s administration, operation and development in relation to:
- The Environment
- The passenger experience
- Surface access issues associated with the airport
- The local, regional and national economy
- The circumstances of local communities and their residents.
- Consider and, if appropriate, respond to any factual or consultative reports, from Governmental or other sources, which are material to the operation or development of the airport.
- Make suggestions to Heathrow Airport where this might further the interests of those represented.
Members of this committee acknowledge that Heathrow Airport provides desired economic benefits but that these come at a cost to people’s quality of life and to the environment and these impacts must be mitigated.
The committee will act in accordance with the principles listed in the DfT guidance for Airport Consultative Committees so that HACC will be:
- Transparent, and
Members will abide by the DfT code of conduct for airport consultative committees.
Nature of discussion
The committee should be more than simply an exchange of information. The committee aims to discuss and resolve strategic issues relating to the above areas and, wherever possible, to work through consensus or, where that is not possible, to agree on what needs to be addressed if a course of action is pursued by Heathrow Airport.
While technical detail must inform the debate, the ambition is to inform Heathrow Airport’s strategy and policy development not to address lower level technical detail. Where a topic is too specific to be addressed at the HACC it should be handled directly with Heathrow Airport or through subcommittees, working groups and/or other related bodies.
Membership and presence at meetings
The members of the committee are drawn from three broad groups:
- Users: travel and tourism industry, aviation industry including airlines, passengers
- Local authorities: all those whose boundary abuts Heathrow or where the communities are significantly affected by the operation of the airport.
- Local interest groups: groups representing local people affected by the airport’s operations including environmental and noise groups, business and economic groups (including trade unions) and residents’ groups.
All member organizations commit to providing the most senior person available with the required knowledge to represent them at the HACC.
All members commit to working on HACC business between meetings and giving timely responses to requests for comments and feedback between committee meetings.
The Chairman of HACC is independent and appointed by Heathrow Airport in consultation with the HACC.
The HACC will involve, as appropriate, other bodies, which may be represented on the HACC or be invited from time to time to present to the HACC.
HACC meetings are open to the members of the press and media and the public to observe the proceedings. In the event of matters of commercial or operational confidentiality/sensitivity requiring the Committee’s attention, the Chairman has the right, without question, to require the exclusion of the press, media and public from the Committee’s proceedings.
Pursuing these main Terms of Reference, the HACC has established additional rules of procedure in the documents listed below:
- Rules of membership
- Meetings and rules of conduct
- HACC sub-committees – the Steering Committee and the Passenger Services Sub-committee.