Stansted Airport set to be sold

STANSTED Airport is in line to be sold after the Competition Commission issued a damning report on owner BAA - and campaigners claim it could mean the end of controversial plans for a second runway on the site.

STANSTED Airport is in line to be sold after the Competition Commission issued a damning report on owner BAA - and campaigners claim it could mean the end of controversial plans for a second runway on the site.

The company is likely to have to give up Stansted and Gatwick and one of either Glasgow or Edinburgh after the commission said “significant competition problems arose from BAA's ownership of seven UK airports.

Tim Yeo, MP for South Suffolk and Chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, gave his backing to the report this afternoon.

He said: “I greatly welcome provisional findings from the Competition Commission which conclude that BAA should sell two of its three London airports.


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“I have argued for the break-up of BAA since I was Shadow Transport Minister four years ago so I am delighted that the Competition Commission has now confirmed my view.

“This almost certainly means that BAA will have to sell Stansted and will no longer be able to use its revenue from Heathrow to subsidise uneconomic expansion of Stansted.

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“I very much hope that the future owners of Stansted will recognise the airport has already reached its maximum sustainable capacity and will immediately shelve BAA's plans for either a second runway or increased passenger numbers"

A statement from campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) added: “SSE has long argued for a break-up of BAA and is therefore delighted by today's 'provisional findings' report from the Competition Commission concluding that BAA must sell two of its three London airports.

“We consider it inconceivable that BAA would willingly sell Heathrow which means that Stansted and Gatwick must both be sold.

“This will not in itself remove the threat of a second runway at Stansted but we believe it moves us a step closer to the day when this idea will be abandoned.

“We look forward to working with the new owners of Stansted towards achieving this objective.”

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