Airport operator BAA has been ordered to proceed with the sale of key UK airports.

Airport news for Flights,Gatwick on 21/07/2011.

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Airports operator BAA has lost the final ruling by the Competition Commission and has been told it must divest itself of Stansted Airport, as well as either Glasgow airport or Edinburgh airport. The ruling was in line with industry expectations as well as the commission’s earlier indications back in March.

In March of 2009, the Competition Commission ordered BAA to sell Stansted and Gatwick airports, as well as Glasgow or Edinburgh. BAA then went ahead with the sale of Gatwick Airport, which was acquired by its new owners later that same year.

Since then, BAA has mounted a string of legal challenges to the commission’s ruling. Those all failed but following the change of government, BAA then applied to the commission for a change of heart on the basis that the circumstances in which the 2009 ruling was made had changed substantially.

BAA was arguing that the new government’s decision to ban any expansion of runways in the Southeast represents a material change in circumstances. BAA says it is disappointed with the commission’s ruling and will consider seeking a judicial review.

In its report, the commission said the process of selling Stansted Airport would begin in three months. That sale is to be following by BAA selling one of its Scottish airports.

In October last year, BAA’s claim in the Court of Appeal failed. Earlier this year, BAA’s application for further appeal was refused by the Supreme Court.

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