Posts Tagged ‘BAA’

London’s Stansted Airport, operated by BAA, received the permission from the UK government to increase its flight capacity by 10% to accommodate a further of 23,000 flights a year (extra 10 million passengers). Earlier the local authority had rejected the request due to noise and environmental issues.

From M2

The maximum number of passengers able to use the
airport would increase by 10m a year, from 35m to 25m, as a result of
the capacity increase and the number of possible flights would be
raised from 241,000 annually to 264,000, Reuters reported.

Opposition on the Plan from BBC

The National Trust opposes the expansion, claiming increased air traffic will have an adverse impact on nearby Hatfield Forest.

It has described the site as one of Europe’s last remaining
medieval royal hunting forests and believes an increase in flights and
noise will hit visitor numbers. 

Uttlesford District Council leader Jim Ketteridge said:
“Allowing BAA to increase the amount of air traffic marks a further
erosion of our quality of life, particularly for all those living near
Stansted Airport.”

Stop Stansted Expansion, the campaign group which has led
opposition to further development, said it was “considering the
implications” of the Government’s decision before commenting further.

And the Liberal Democrats have also criticised the move,
claiming there is a “gaping void” between the Government’s rhetoric on
the environment and its actions.


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Rising gas prices seems to be affecting every airline in the world. Ryanair, Irish airline based in Dublin, recently announced the following cost cutting initiatives –

  • Temporarily closing airport operations – Operations temporarily ended at Seven Airports – Basel, Budapest, Krakow, Palma, Rzeszow, Salzburg and Valencia.
  • Capacity Cuts at others – The airline is cutting down on 14% of its flights in/out of London’s Stansted Airport this winter from 1850 to 1590 a week. British Airport Authority (BAA), owner of the airport, is charging 15% higher for the year (there was a 100% increase last year). Stansted per passenger charges have gone from £5 to £12 over the last five years. Resulting from this cutback, Stansted will lose 90,000 passengers (worth £8m)
  • Grounding Airplanes – Ryanair is grounding 20 of its airplanes this summer

From Telegraph

Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “These winter schedule cutbacks, which are significantly greater
than those of last winter, show just how damaging the BAA airport
monopoly has become to consumers and the best interests of London, UK
tourism and the economy generally.”

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British Airways (CEO Willie Wash) and BAA (CEO Colin Matthews) have called for the construction of a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. This statement came after a business group, London’s First, has called for “drastic action to end the problems of “Heathrow hassle“”. The group has called for scrapping of some flights at peak time (read here).

From Forbes

BA chief executive Willie
Walsh told a transport conference in London that the London hub needed
a short extra runway and mixed-mode operation on its existing two
runways, which would create more take-off and landing space.”

Walsh said the absence of
spare runway capacity had caused Heathrow’s global network to shrink
from 227 destinations in 1990 to 180 today. ‘This is a cycle of decline
that must be reversed,’ he said.”

I am little worried about more construction at the airport for the following possible reasons (you might agree with one or two of them) –

  • A patch to a bigger problem – The problem at Heathrow is capacity constraints, not just at the runway level but at Gates, etc. I think the best alternative would be to make another airport?
  • Bad Record – Terminal 4 has caused us all to believe that expansions can result in chaos!!!
  • Environmental Impact – Though I do not consider myself an environmentalist, but still I feel this should be studied, esp. with all the wide body planes at Heathrow.

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Terminal 5 has taken new victim or should I say guilty as charged. Mark Butler, Managing Director of London’s Heathrow Airport, has resigned from the position at BAA. He is supposed to have left due to “change to management roles” after the introduction of new group chief executive Colin Matthews.

Mark Bullock was charged with “the successful opening of T5” and before being director, he was “responsible for integrating T5 into the rest of the Heathrow operation”.

More on Terminal 5 – click here

From BBC article

Mark Bullock had “chosen to leave” his job as the airport’s managing
director because of a change to management roles, according to
Spanish-owned BAA

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BAA (British Airport Authority Ltd), the owner and operator of seven British Airports (2nd largest transport company in the world), is preparing the divest some of its airport.
On April 22nd, the competition commission started an investigation to see if the airlines and passengers are being served well. Commission said that “BAA had been slow to build new terminals and runways”. The commission may force BAA to sell London’s Gatwick and Stansted Airports.

Facts about BAA (from here) –

I think after Terminal 5 fiasco, there is a big need for a shake up!

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