In a decision notice issued earlier this month, the Information Commissioner’s Office concluded that Heathrow Airport Limited (who own and operate Heathrow Airport) is a public authority falling within the ambit of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. The ICO reached this conclusion in upholding a complaint brought by Heathrow West Limited (an Arora Group Company), after HAL refused to disclose environmental information relating to the expansion of airport and the proposed third runway on the basis that it was not a public authority for the purposes of the 2004 Regulations.
The ICO’s decision is noteworthy for the conclusion that “HAL has been afforded special powers to enable it to carry out its function, entrusted by statute, as an airport operator. Furthermore the Commissioner is satisfied that the operation of the airport is the performance of a service of public interest.”
The decision may be downloaded here.
Charles Banner QC and Matthew Henderson are acting for Heathrow West Limited.