HATF exists to engage with the airport as a critical friend on surface transport issues regardless of the issue of expansion. Under the current level of operation as a 2 runway airport there are major issues of traffic congestion, poor air quality, carbon emissions and a need for modal shift towards active and sustainable public transport to be pursued. Although the HATF Board have been following a very intense and pressured programme in the run up to the intended DCO submission – there are still issues which we have been examining and have planned to look at which require work under a ‘business as usual’ scenario for the airport. I have, therefore, asked Tony Caccavone, the Director of Surface Access, to bring forwards a new outline programme for making sustainability improvements to Heathrow under a continuing 2 runways scenario which will be discussed at the next Board meeting in April.
I have therefore taken the following steps to slow down, reduce and refocus our work programme in the short term while we await more clarity over the future of the airport.
- The HATF Board will meet in April to review the new outline programme
- The Wider Forum planned for the 31st March, has been postponed until the Autumn
- We will continue with plans for a Seminar on the Freight industry at Heathrow for June – but refocus it.
I know that the work HATF has been carrying out has had a big impact on thinking by the Airport and your involvement is greatly appreciated. It’s my intention that although our work might now be at a less pressured pace, we should non the less continue in the mission to push forward a positive agenda for sustainable transport at Heathrow, to the benefit of passengers, workforce and the wider community.
Thank you for bearing with HATF and I hope you will be supportive of the urgent Chair’s actions that I have initiated.