Hounslow Council has backed urgent calls to investigate claims that BAA colluded with the Government to "fix" the recent public consultation into its plans to expand Heathrow.

The storm over the alleged collusion sparked off just as Heathrow Airport enters a momentous fortnight of unprecedented expansion.

Today (Friday) the Queen will officially open Terminal 5, with the public opening to follow on March 27. On Tuesday the first passenger-filled flight of the largest commercial aircraft in the world - the Airbus A380 - will touch down at Heathrow.

Finally, the Open Skies policy will take effect on March 30, setting off a 25 per cent increase in transatlantic flights per month at Heathrow.

Claims of the collusion broke last week with a front page article in the Sunday Times.

It said officials from Heathrow's owners BAA gave amended data to civil servants who were composing the public consultation into plans to add a third runway.

It also claimed that BAA executives prevented the use of data in the consultation document that showed growth at the airport would breach set limits for pollution and noise.

Hounslow Council's lead member for aviation, Barbara Reid, said if the allegations turned out to be true, it would confirm what she and others had long suspected and she said it was time for the "true impact of expansion to be revealed".

She said: "The Government and BAA have been trying to convince us they can expand Heathrow within strict environmental limits."

John Stewart, chairman of the action group, Hacan, called for the removal of the DfT officials who the Sunday Times claimed re-forecasted' figures in its favour.

Labelling today's royal opening at T5 "a sad day for residents" he said that if the Government had kept its promise not to expand after building Terminal 4, Terminal 5 would never have been built.

The campaigner said: "The Queen will be unveiling another broken promise rather than a sparkling new terminal.

"The pall of deceit and collusion will hang over the entire proceedings."