News BAA-owned airports need ‘better regulation’

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BAA-owned airports need ‘better regulation’

The "regulatory system" rather than airport ownership is the most pressing concern with airports in the BAA group

The "regulatory system" rather than airport ownership is the most pressing concern with airports in the BAA group, it has been claimed.

A report by the Competition Commission (CC) published this week recommended that the operator sell three of its UK airports, including one London site.

An investigation by the regulator raised competition concerns at seven UK airports, including London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, which it claims has "adverse consequences for passengers".

However, a spokesperson for British Airways, the UK’s flagship carrier, claimed that the focus should be on regulation rather than ownership.

She told Reuters: "That [regulation] is the way to create the capacity which is most needed – especially at Heathrow."

The findings of the published report are only provisional, but a final decision on the future of the company’s airport ownership is expected in April 2009.

Colin Matthews, BAA chief executive, remarked that the remedies suggested by the CC were "disproportionate and counterproductive".

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