Airport News

BAA chairman admits airports sell-off is likely

Mon, 18 Aug, 2008

Sir Nigel Rudd, the chairman of BAA, has said he expects the airport operator to be forced to sell one or more of its seven airports.

He told the BBC that the competition commission's forthcoming review into airport ownership is likely to recommend the sale of at least one airport in order to break BAA's monopoly.

BAA has already received expressions of interest for London Gatwick and Stansted but Sir Nigel stated that neither was up for sale at the moment.

A break-up of the company would not be a disaster, he said, but it would not serve the country's interest if there was increased competitive pressure between domestic airports.

"Heathrow does not compete with Gatwick and does not compete with Stansted or Luton or Manchester," he explained.

"It competes with Charles de Gaulle, Dubai now and [Amsterdam's] Schiphol, because these are big international hub airports."

BAA, which owns Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton and Aberdeen airports, was taken over by Spanish property group Ferrovial in 2006.

Joe Evans

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