BAA told to sell Stansted Airport

AIRPORT operator BAA has been told by a Government watchdog that it will have to sell its Essex hub.

The Competition Commission (CC) has ruled that BAA will have to sell Stansted Airport and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.

The commission had ruled in 2009 that BAA would have to sell three of its seven UK airports and the company has already sold Gatwick.

Since then there have been a string of legal challenges by BAA to the ruling, which ended with the CC findings being upheld.

The CC said it remained convinced the original sale decision was “the right one for passengers and airlines”.

It added that Stansted Airport should be sold first, with a “small overlap” between that sale and the sale of one of the Scottish airports.

BAA said: “We will carefully consider the CC’s provisional decision before making any decisions or further statements.

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“We believe that there has been a material change in circumstances since the commission’s report was published in March 2009.”

Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has welcomed the CC’s decision.

Carol Barbone, SSE’s campaign director, said: “BAA has spent over two years appealing the Competition Commission’s original verdict and all it has succeeded in doing is prolong the agony for employees and local residents alike.

“BAA should now end its pointless defiance of the Commission and allow Stansted to have a new owner as soon as possible.”

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