Protesters gather at Stansted Airport

PUBLISHED: 14:53 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 21:40 31 May 2010

Inquiry inspector Andrew Phillipson chairs the Inquiry Programming Meeting

Inquiry inspector Andrew Phillipson chairs the Inquiry Programming Meeting

ALMOST 100 anti-expansion campaigners staged a colourful protest this morning before the start of a meeting to discuss the future of Stansted Airport. The Hilton Hotel, at the Essex airport, is currently hosting the latest stage of the public inquiry into

ALMOST 100 anti-expansion campaigners staged a colourful protest on Monday morning before the start of a meeting to discuss the future of Stansted Airport.

The Hilton Hotel, at the Essex airport, is currently hosting the latest stage of the public inquiry into the controversial proposals for a second runway at the airport, with the main parties and inspectors getting down to the nitty-gritty about what will be discussed in the inquiry, and when. The inquiry is due to start in April.

Taking the opportunity to put their case across at the inquiry programming meeting hearing are representatives from Stop Stansted Expansion, the four affected local authorities, the Airlines Consultative Committee, landowners and airport owner BAA.

Before the meeting, anti-airport activists from Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk branded placards and banners to make it clear to the inquiry inspector, Andrew Phillipson, that the investigation should be "fair and thorough, not quick and dirty".

Speaking at the start of the meeting, Mr Phillipson assured those present that the inquiry would be "full and fair".

He said: "I do understand very much the large number of people who have strong views about these proposals and that people are concerned.

"I am here to ensure their views are put forward [to the Secretary of State] and those views are taken into account when the relevant secretaries of states reach their decisions.

"It is my intention to report all views put to me and to hear those views. I want there to be no doubt about that. My intention is to have a full and fair inquiry."

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