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BAA lose Competition Commission appeal against forced closure of London Stanstead Airport
The British Airports Authority has lost its appeal to the Competition Commission against the forced sale of London Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.
To add insult to injury, a league table of the world's 146 major airports was also published today by Airport Council International, putting London Heathrow, supposedly BAA's flagship site, in 99th position, below Dublin and Calcutta.
News of the appeal's rejection comes within a week of the "Heathrow Winter Resilience Enquiry", which found Heathrow to have performed badly during the period of heavy snowfall in December 2010, in comparison with other UK and European airports.
The original ruling that BAA should sell three of its airports stems from 2009. Since that time, Gatwick has been sold, but Spanish owned BAA have been trying to get the Commission to withdraw the requirement to sell Stansted and one of its Scottish bases.
The sale of Gatwick did not bring the capital returns that were expected and BAA's finances were further set back by the cancellation of the planned third runway at Heathrow and the revenues it would have brought. The Commission has been unsympathetic to these arguments, seeing the sale of Gatwick as already having brought benefits to passengers. Gatwick compared favourably to Heathrow in the Winter Resilience Enquiry.
The 2010 airport quality league table compiled by Airport Council International is dominated by Asian airports. It reports passenger feedback on Heathrow as having a poor ambience and chaotic security measures.
Author: Lynn Shaw, Analyst
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