Supreme Court calls time on BAA

18.2.2011 (Stop Stansted Expansion)

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has welcomed the decision by the Supreme Court
to refuse BAA permission to mount a further appeal against the Competition Commission’s
2009 ruling that it must sell Stansted Airport (and also either its Edinburgh
or Glasgow airport). 

This means that BAA has now exhausted the full legal process for appealing against
the Commission’s ruling, a process which has lasted almost two years.

SSE is however concerned that BAA may try to re-run the legal argument all over
again by arguing that circumstances have changed so much since the Commission’s
March 2009 ruling that its original conclusions are no longer valid and there
is no longer a justification for forcing the sale of Stansted.  BAA has in fact
already written to the Commission making this argument and strongly hinting that
another protracted legal battle is in prospect if the Commission’s does not accept
BAA’s viewpoint.   

SSE is concerned that BAA is merely trying to delay matters further in the hope
that market conditions will improve, enabling it to obtain a better price for
the sale of Stansted.  This may be in BAA’s commercial interests but it would
create further uncertainty and would not be in the interests of the local community
or airport employees.  SSE therefore calls upon BAA to end the uncertainty by
accepting the Supreme Court’s decision and relinquishing control of Stansted without
any further delay.

SSE Economics Adviser Brian Ross commented:  “BAA has now launched more appeals
than Wayne Rooney with the result that the airport has been in a state of limbo
for three years and has been losing customers in droves.  Prolonging this state
of limbo is neither in the interests of the local community nor the airport’s
employees.  BAA should now accept the Supreme Court’s ruling and bring this damaging
period of uncertainty to an end.”



BAA’s submission to the Competition Commission arguing that there has been a
material change in circumstances since March 2009 can be found at



see also


BAA airport sell-off still on after new court ruling

17.2.2011 (BBC Business)

Airport operator BAA has lost its latest challenge against a ruling that it must
sell Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.

BAA has mounted a string of legal challenges in an attempt to keep them ever
since the Competition Commission ruled in 2009 that BAA must sell three of its
seven UK airports.

The ruling has already led to BAA selling Gatwick Airport.

The Supreme Court ruled against its latest bid to stop further sell-offs.

BAA was asking the court – the highest in the UK – to give it leave to appeal
against a previous Court of Appeal decision that it should be forced to sell two
more of its key hubs.

A BAA spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision not
to hear our appeal.

“We continue to make the case to the Competition Commission that the circumstances
in which they found reason to force the sale of airports have changed significantly
since early 2009 and should certainly be reviewed in the light of the Government’s
policy to rule out new runway capacity in the south east of England.”

The Competition Commission said in a statement that it was examining whether
there had been any significant developments since the original decision back in
March 2009 that could cause it to reconsider.

It said BAA and other interested parties had submitted their views and that it
should report back towards the end of next month.

Spanish-owned BAA operates Heathrow, Southampton and Aberdeen, as well as Stansted,
Glasgow and Edinburgh.
see also
older news
BAA loses airport sell-off ruling   13.10.2010, BBC Business
–  BAA may face changes to forced UK airport sales – Competition Commission invites