| Press Release - 18 October 2003
CAMPAIGN GROUP WELCOMES CALLS FOR BAA BREAK-UP
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has welcomed the joint call by Ryanair and
easyJet today (18 October) that BAA, the owner of Heathrow, Gatwick and
Stansted airports, should be broken up to bring an end to its monopoly in
the south east.
"It's not often that we find ourselves in full agreement with Michael O'
Leary of Ryanair and Ray Webster of easyJet but on this issue we could not
agree more," said SSE Chairman, Norman Mead.
SSE itself wrote formally to the Department of Trade & Industry last month
seeking action to deal with BAA's monopoly position and has also brought the
issue to the attention of the Office of Fair Trading, the Competition
Commission and the CAA.
Norman Mead commented: "Stansted has been over-developed and has simply
become a dumping ground for cheap short haul flights for the whole of the
South East and far beyond. We believe that as an independent business it
would develop in a more moderate and balanced way to serve the travel needs
of the local region."
"BAA has become a bad neighbour to our community. Its proposals for two
additional runways represent a betrayal of past promises. We would be glad
to see the back of this monopoly," Norman Mead continued. "I am sure that
the communities around Gatwick and Heathrow would feel the same way."
Earlier this year, the influential House of Commons Transport Select
Committee also called for the break-up of BAA and the Government announced
last month that it would abide by a ruling of the European Court of Justice
and sell its golden share in BAA, lifting the restriction on any shareholder
owning more than 15 per cent of the company. This will remove an obstacle
to a takeover or a break-up of the company.
Norman Mead, Chairman, Stop Stansted Expansion 01279 659483
Carol Barbone, Campaign Director, Stop Stansted Expansion or firstname.lastname@example.org
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