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Stansted Airport to be Sold

This week BAA, the existing owner and operator of Stansted Airport, has thrown in the towel and finally accepted the recent judgement of the Court of Appeal to sell the Essex airport.

The Competition Commission had originally ruled that BAA mist sell three of its British airports, namely Gatwick, Edinburgh and Stansted. The first two have already been sold and Stansted isn the final airport to now be marketed.

Even thought BAA have now seemingly accepted that the airport must be sold, a spokesman for BAA was still opposed to the sale, “We still believe that the Competition Commission fails to recognise that Stansted and Heathrow operate in diferent markets.”

A local businessman however noted in response, “This is great news for the airport. For too long Stansted has played second fiddle to the big two London airports and I am hoping that a new operator will be suitably motivated to make Stansted more of a success than it currently is by bringing in new airlines and increasing passenger numbers.”

The Stop Stansted Expansion group were equally upbeat about this latest news, “The prolonged period of uncertainty over Stansted’s ownership has been unsettling for the airport’s employees, unhelpful for the local community and damaging for the longer term business future of the airport.”

The general feel is that a new operator will be able to ignite more commercial interest in the airport from perhaps new airlines and reverse the last 5 year trend of falling passenger numbers. Early leaders in the race to acquire the site include Global Infrastructure Partnerships and the Group that own Manchester Airport.

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