BAA today responded to the Office of Fair Tradings (OFT) market study on the UK Airports industry which called for a more detailed investigation by the Competition Commission into study the supply of airport services.
Stephen Nelson, Chief Executive of BAA said: As the operator of the UKs three largest airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, it is right that BAAs ownership is subject to regular public scrutiny. Our belief is that BAAs structure has benefited both passengers and airlines and BAA has not abused its monopoly. "The main issue facing the UK is a lack of terminal and runway capacity in the South East of England which results in delay and congestion.
This problem has not arisen because of BAAs structure, but instead is the result of the UKs complex planning laws, an complex regulatory system and inflexible slot allocation. Lack of capacity is a complex issue therefore it would be wrong to jump to quick and simplistic conclusions about structure. BAA has both expertise and a strong track record in delivering new airport facilities and our plans to invest £9.5 billion over the next ten years at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted will transform the passenger experience. Our investment in new airport facilities, together with world leading runway productivity, has helped create the most vibrant air transport market in Europe, great choice in destinations, low prices for passengers and some of the most profitable airlines in the world.
Stephen Nelson, concludes: I fully understand why airlines like British Airways and Ryanair want to weaken BAA and achieve greater control over prices and investment at the airports they dominate. This should not be confused with acting in the passenger interest.