The Northern Gateway Pipeline hearings get underway in Vancouver this evening, but members of the public will once again not be allowed in to watch the proceedings.

The federal review panel hearings are being held at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre in downtown Vancouver, but only those who are registered to speak at the community hearings will be able to attend when they open at 7 p.m. PT.

Any other members of the public who want to view the proceedings will have watch from the Westin Bayshore in Coal Harbour, more than a kilometre away.

The audio from the hearings will also be broadcast online by the panel.

The federal review panel has said the public is being kept out of the hearings in order to prevent disruptions. A similar format was used last week in Victoria.

Opponents of the pipeline say they are planning a protest to target the hearings, starting at 5 p.m. PT at the corner of Hastings and Cambie streets.

The hearings run in Vancouver from Jan. 14 to 18, and from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. They will also be held in Kelowna on Jan. 28.