Future Heathrow

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The group called Future Heathrow are lobbying for a controversial third runway and a sixth terminal at the airport.[1]

According to their website

Future Heathrow is a broad based coalition of business, trades unions and the aviation community. Our link is a shared vision of the future of the UK's only major international hub airport.[2]

The revolving door between Labour and BAA

The chancellor,Alistair Darling, was the guest of honour who officially launched Future Heathrow. Future Heathrow, is headed up by another Labour peer, Lord Soley, who works out of a BAA office in West London.[1]

Funded By BAA

According to an article in The Sunday Times

BAA funds two key groups – Future Heathrow, led by Soley, and Flying Matters, which is headed by Wilson and has also investigated opponents of expansion.[3]Their precursor was Freedom to Fly, which was set up at a time when BAA was concerned that its arguments for more air travel were not being given the same prominence as those of environmental groups, which were warning of the dangers of growing carbon emissions.[3]

John McDonnell, a Labour MP, is quoted in The Sunday Times stating

“BAA dominates the government’s aviation policy. There have been a number of front organisations over the years that have promoted aviation. They are all funded by the industry and are largely paid lobbyists.” [3]

Aviation as a family business

An article in 'The Guardian explains that

Freedom to Fly was the brainchild of Steve Hardwick - another of Labour's key Millbank apparatchiks - and the organisation was previously chaired by Labour peer Brenda Dean and directed by Dan Hodges, the son of Glenda Jackson who was Labour's first aviation minister. Dan Hodge's wife, Michelle De Leo, is the new director of Flying Matters, so as you can see, they're keeping it in the family.[1]

Planning laws and CBI

The Guardian argues that

the few remaining checks and balances built into planning laws are, on the recommendations of the CBI's Kate Barker, being stripped away by Brown in an attempt to bulldoze opposition to new roads, runways and coal-fired power stations.[4]
The transport secretary, Ruth Kelly, was part of the team that oversaw the Barker Review whose recommendations, which Brown appears to support, were designed to suppress the voices of local opponents of major projects, like, say, runways, for example. It seems she's now, suddenly in prime position to follow through on her planning white paper and bulldozer through plans for fast tracking climate-damaging projects like airport expansion.[1]

In The Sunday Times, Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI, said there was a “strong consensus” that the runway should go ahead.[5]

Sir Digby Jones, the former CBI boss, became chair of the new aviation industry lobby group, Flying Matters.[1]

Founding members





Clive Soley The Campaign Director Future Heathrow Room 2044 D’Albiac House Cromer Road Heathrow Airport Middlesex TW6 1SD United Kingdom

e-mail: info@futureheathrow.org


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Joss Garman Flying too close The Guardian, 29/06/07, 02/02/11
  2. Future Heathrow Website[www.futureheathrow.co.uk About Us], accessed 02/02/11
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jon Ungoed-Thomas Labour’s flying club lobbies for BAA, The Sunday Times 16/03/08, accessed 31/01/11
  4. Joss Garman Activists still have a vital role to play in tackling aviation growth, The Guardian, 29/08/07, accessed 02/02/11
  5. Dominic O'Connell Heathrow runway supporters hit back at ‘small group of sceptics’, The Sunday Times, 10/05/09, accessed 02/02/11