BAA likely to sell Stansted - Stansted,Gatwick,Heathrow Airport News

Airport news for Stansted,Gatwick,Heathrow on 26/02/2009.

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The Essex airport handles 23 million passengers annually and is the low-cost aviation centre of Britain.

Selling Stansted will end the domination of London airports by BAA. Since it was created as a government agency 40 years ago, it has owned and operator London’s three airports – Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial owns the majority of shares in BAA, and has been fighting to keep Stansted, in spite of watchdog recommendations that it should be sold off to benefit consumers.

Senior executives at BAA have been pledging that they would fight the UK Competition Commission in the courts if necessary, rather than give up ownership of Stansted. Now, however, it is said that they are prepared to drop their objections to the sale.

Early next month, the Competition Commission will make its final decision on BAA’s airport ownership public, and is expected to require that BAA sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airport in Scotland. The sale of Gatwick is currently underway.

It is not expected that BAA will oppose the requirement.

“There was no point in [BAA] going on fighting the Competition Commission. It has won on the bigger point of expanding Heathrow,” an airline executive said.

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