BAA airport ownership criticised

800pxheathrow_airport_radar_tower_p The Competition Commission has said that BAA’s ownership of seven UK airports "may not be serving well the interests of either airlines or passengers". Its report released yesterday said that BAA, "dominates the airports markets in the south-east of England", and it’s now a distinct possibility that BAA may end up being forced to sell one or more of them.

The Competition Commission specifically mentioned development, saying it was worried that having so many airports owned by one company meant that big development projects were being carried out one at a time, restricting capacity growth. But it stressed that it had not yet reached any conclusions and said that it would set out its remedies to any competition problems in August.

Comment

While welcoming the report in general, BAA chief executive Colin Matthews disputed the suggestion that the sale of some of BAA’s airports would improve capacity.

The government said it would review the economic regulation of the industry. Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly told Parliament she was: "announcing a review of the economic regulation of the UK airport system".

"The case for breaking up BAA gets stronger by the day," said Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers.

Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Norman Baker said: "BAA is part of the problem not part of solution."

"It seems the Competition Commission has seen the light", Paul Charles, Virgin Atlantic

From the BBC

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