15th January 2008

Decision not to de-designate Stansted Airport

SSE Comment

Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has welcomed the announcement today (15 January 2008) that the Department for Transport (DfT) has decided not to remove price controls at Stansted Airport.

“This news will be a major blow to BAA’s hopes of funding a second runway at Stansted through vastly inflated airport charges,” said SSE’s Economics Adviser, Brian Ross.

“We suspect that the DfT may have decided to rule against the Civil Aviation Authority proposals for de-designation out of concern that Ryanair and Easyjet, who dominate airline operations at Stansted, would file a High Court challenge if price controls were scrapped. It is clear that the DfT would have had great difficulty defending the logic of de-designation at this point in time,” Mr Ross added.

Refusal to de-designate will also be another major distraction for BAA management over the next 12 months, forcing it to argue its case to the CAA for a generous price cap in the teeth of fierce opposition from the Stansted airlines.

Stop Stansted Expansion’s two responses (October and April 2007) to the DfT consultation that preceded today’s announcement are accessible online.

Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits