The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today published its initial price control proposals for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted for the period 2008-13. In response, Stephen Nelson, BAA Chief Executive Officer, said,
Taken at face value, the incentives in this opening proposal are unsatisfactory and give cause for significant concern. Uncertainty over incentives, coming at time when we face a number of major investment decisions, may directly affect the quality of the passenger experience for years to come. We have plans to invest £9.5 billion at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted over the next 10 years to deliver new airport facilities that will result in much needed improvements for passengers travelling through our airports. We are already transforming Heathrow with our £4.2bn Terminal 5 project which will open in March 2008. But long term investment on this scale requires a consistent and supportive regulatory framework.
In our view, the initial price control proposals contain an unprecedented and negative shift in this framework that could be interpreted as a reversal of the CAAs previous policies in this area.
Commenting on the CAAs recommendation to de-designate Stansted, Stephen Nelson said:
We are reserving our judgement on this recommendation until we have had the chance to review it alongside the OFTs study of the UK airport market.