BAA issues reaction to Competition Commission recommendation - Heathrow Airport News

Airport news for Heathrow on 25/08/2008.

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The airports owner was told by the UK Competition Commission that it should sell two of its London airports and one in Scotland, in order to improve the competition among the airports and the service to airlines and passengers.

Immediately following the ruling, speculation of a bidding war for the airports arose, but in fact it will be some months before the government is set to sanction the watchdog’s recommendations. BAA was quick to issue a strong rebuttal to the findings in the report.

Colin Matthews, the chief executive of BAA, said that the report was seriously "flawed," and also said that the recommendations come at a time when the airports involved are already seriously overstretched in terms of capacity.

The airports operator asserts that a forced break-up of its group of airports could have the undesired effect of delaying progress in capacity expansion, particularly at London airports, and in coming to a resolution of what is called the “Heathrow hassle” factor.

The chief executive added: "Just as the government is about to make the decisions that could lead to the first full-length runways being built in the south-east since the second world war, the commission risks creating uncertainty, delay and confusion."

He stated that the watchdog was misguided in its notion regarding “competition in London,” as Heathrow Airport’s competitors are the hubs in other major European cities – not Stansted and Gatwick.

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