Regulator to recommend breaking up BAA - Gatwick Airport News

Airport news for Gatwick on 11/08/2008.

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The target airport would most likely be Gatwick, which could have a price tag of up to £2 billion.

It is expected that the commission will announce the findings of its inquiry in about a fortnight. Earlier this year it published a preliminary report on its “emerging thinking,” which agreed with the contention of numerous airlines that BAA was restricting competition among the major UK airports.

Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic, as well as other carriers, have been calling for the break-up of the airports operator. Their complaint is that BAA operates a monopoly in south-east England, and in Glasgow and Edinburgh as well, which results in unfair charges and poor service.

British Airways has also lobbied the UK Department for Transport for new rules that would force BAA to expand the capacity at its airports, particularly in the London area where congestion is the heaviest.

Aviation regulation is currently under government review, as airlines, including BA, say that the UK airports operator has been too slow to build new runways, for example.

Airlines have also claimed that by squeezing current airport capacity, BAA has been able to drive up charges imposed on carriers and thereby has little if any incentive to invest in redevelopment projects.

British Airways is calling for the operator’s licence to require it to enhance capacity at the airports it manages.

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