BAA acted against public interest at Stansted

THE Competition Commission has ruled that British Airport Authority (BAA), which owns seven airports in the UK, has acted against the public interest in its management of Stansted Airport.

In its report, the commission found that the airport failed to consult adequately with the airlines about its planned expansion, failed to manage the security waiting process and overcharged cargo aircraft for landing.

The report recommended that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) require BAA to: improve consultation with the individual airlines; introduce a service-quality rebate scheme under which BAA will be forced to pay airlines for poor performance; and offer off-peak discounts on landing charges for the largest cargo aircraft.

The BAA expressed disappointment in the Commission’s report, claiming that it had failed to take into account the large cost of operating Stansted Airport in its assessment.

The CAA will consider the recommendations before making its final decision in March 2009. It must decide on the five-year price cap regime for Stansted, as well as imposing remedies in areas where BAA has acted against the public interest.

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