Runway protest disrupts MPs’ inquiry into airport group
Campaigners protesting against the construction of a third runway at Heathrow
yesterday interrupted the deliberations of MPs investigating the future of the
airport’s operator, BAA. As BAA chairman Sir Nigel Rudd prepared to give evidence
to the Commons transport committee, protesters began chanting “no third runway
at Heathrow”. Three stripped off outer garments to reveal white T-shirts bearing
the same slogan.
They attempted to hand out leaflets to MPs and members of the public crammed
into committee room eight of the main parliament building before they were ushered
away by police.
BAA is under pressure to improve its performance, especially over the long queues
at Heathrow. The Competition Commission is looking at the provision of airport
services in the UK. Some have suggested this could lead to BAA, which owns seven
airports including Gatwick and Stansted as well as Heathrow, having to sell one
of its south-east hubs.
In his evidence, Rudd painted a different picture of BAA’s finances. The debt
incurred by the consortium, led by Spain’s Ferrovial, when it bought BAA last
year, has led to questions about the financing of investment in its UK airports.
From Plane Stupid’s website: