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CAA joins growing chorus calling for BAA break-up PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 May 2008

Times Online

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the top aviation regulator in the UK, said today that it wants BAA, the airports operator, to be broken up.

The CAA joins the Competition Commission, Office of Fair Trading and all the major airlines operating in calling for BAA to give up control of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports - London's three main airports.

The Competition Commission said last month in an "emerging thinking" report on BAA's control of London's airports that the monopoly was anti-competitive.

The CAA responded to that report today stating that common ownership of the UK's busiest airports was "likely to prevent, restrict and/or distort competition".
The Competition Commission is expected to deliver its final verdict on BAA's monopoly later this year, which could force the company to sell Gatwick and/or Stansted and also Glasgow.

Dr Harry Bush, group director of economic regulation at the CAA, said: “BAA enjoys a very strong market position in the UK airport market, owning a number of neighbouring airports that to varying degrees would otherwise be expected to act as rivals and compete for airlines and passengers.

"In the absence of sufficient competition in London, greater reliance has been placed on regulators to decide upon the airports’ pricing and to guide the airports’ investments in capacity and service quality," he said.

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