Runway camapaigners vow to fight on

A GROUP of determined campaigners who are battling the expansion of Stansted Airport have promised to continue their fight when a new owner takes over.

By Annie Davidson

A GROUP of determined campaigners who are battling the expansion of Stansted Airport have promised to continue their fight when a new owner takes over.

Yesterday airport operator BAA backed a takeover bid headed by Spanish firm Ferrovial.

A decision will be made in two weeks time whether ownership of airports including Stansted, Heathrow, Gatwick and Glasgow will be handed over.


You may also want to watch:


And The Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) campaign group, which is fighting against plans for a second runway at the Uttlesford airport, said it hoped a new owner would re-think the proposals.

Spokeswoman Carol Barbone said last night: “If it (Ferrovial) wants to make a good return to its shareholders then not expanding Stansted would be the best option for all concerned.”

Most Read

News of an 'alternative capital expenditure plan' for Stansted has been outlined in a document by Ferrovial's bid vehicle the Airport Development and Investment (ADI), which some have speculated could mean the second runway plans are in doubt.

Mrs Barbone said: “When a company does a take over bid it means it thinks it can run the other company more effectively and make more profit.

“It is difficult to see how Ferrovial could make a second runway commercially viable. There is no evidence to date that BAA could do it.”

But she warned that SSE would continue its fight against the second runway for as long as it took to overthrow it.

Mrs Barbone added: “If Ferrovial thinks it can get away with expanding on the cheap at the expense of local residents and a heavy cost to the environment it has another think coming.”

A spokeswoman for Stansted Airport denied the expansion plans were in doubt and said Ferrovial was fully committed to enhancing airport capacity in the UK especially in the south east of England.

Ferrovial said it had no plans to break up the UK estate and said it was committed to the existing capital expenditure programme of BAA.

BAA resisted the approaches of Ferrovial for more than three months, but admitted its own valuation had been reached after a late-night auction took place ahead of a deadline for Ferrovial to table its final offer.

The US-based Goldman Sachs-led consortium, which made a rival offer, said it was reviewing its position and urged BAA shareholders to take no action on the Ferrovial offer in the meantime.

Ferrovial has more than 78,000 employees and a presence in 40 countries and already owns 50% of Bristol Airport, all of Belfast City Airport and 20.9% of Sydney Airport in Australia.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus