Rachel Cerfontyne has been appointed chair of the Heathrow Community Engagement Board.
The new Board was a recommendation made by the Airports Commission, and will take on the role of the current consultative committee.
The chair will lead the CEB which, hope Heathrow Airport and the Heathrow Airport Consultative Committee (HACC), will play an important role in building trust between the airport and its communities making sure that Heathrow delivers its commitments today and in the future. It will also play a role during the planning process for the proposed expansion of Heathrow to check that communities are meaningfully engaged in Heathrow’s public consultations over the coming months and years.
The CEB will act as the focal point for engagement between the airport, local authorities, community groups and passengers. The new Chair was appointed by a panel comprised of representatives of the existing HACC, government, Heathrow and the Harmondsworth and Sipson Residents’ Association.
Rachel was most recently deputy chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, where she spent nine years, and has spent some time living in Feltham.
Commenting on her appointment, Rachel Cerfontyne said: “My highest priority is getting out and about, meeting people in the local communities and hearing their views. I am 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. I’ve already started meeting with local community representatives and over the coming weeks and months look forward to engaging formally and informally from all who have a view on and a relationship with the airport.”
Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Rachel’s track record of independence and strong community engagement is a clear indication that the new Community Engagement Board will be an excellent advocate for those who live, work and travel through Heathrow. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with Rachel and the new Board which will play a key role in influencing how Heathrow operates and grows.”
Mark Izatt, Chair of the HCEB Appointments Panel who oversaw Rachel’s appointment process, said: “A reinvigorated community and oversight group had a need for a committed and independent chair who would be equally at home in a community hall as a ministerial office. In Rachel we have found the perfect mix of skills and experience to ensure the HCEB grows in stature with local communities, users and stakeholders. Her energy and passion for the role have already been on display even before today’s official appointment.”