Chris Longhurst's excellent interview with the BAA chief executive Colin Matthews was very revealing [Colin Matthews on third runway: 'The vital thing now is the best deal for everyone', Gazette, February 4].

It is clear that BAA is going to use Mr Matthews, who seemed like a well-meaning man, to spearhead a charm offensive to try to convince people that it is trying to do the decent thing by local communities.

But no amount of charm in the world can get around the fact that BAA's plans for a third runway and sixth terminal will require the demolition of homes and the destruction of communities. These are the smiling assassins in action.

But it was equally clear from the interview that BAA is far from confident that a third runway will ever be built. All Mr Matthews could say was: "At the moment we have a decision in favour".

He knows full well that there is strong opposition to BAA's plans in all political parties and that, if the Conservatives win the next General Election, a third runway will be scrapped.

Just a few years ago, BAA felt its plans for expansion were in the bag. Today, its chief executive sounds like a beaten man.


chairman of HACAN, by email.