LONDON Oct 15 Heathrow airport, owned by
Spain's Ferrovial SA, is scrapping the over-arching BAA
name, saying that its forced focus on its flagship airport makes
the national origins of the BAA name redundant.
BAA, originally short for British Airports Authority, was
floated in a wave of privatisations in the eighties, when it
owned London's Gatwick and Stansted airports as well as
Heathrow, four Scottish airports and Southampton.
A consortium led by infrastructure company Ferrovial bought
the group in 2006, but was later forced by the Competition
Commission to sell Gatwick and Stansted, as well as either
Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Heathrow Chief Executive, Colin Matthews, said on Monday
that the group was a different company from when BAA was formed.
"Over the last few years we have sold our stakes in Gatwick,
Edinburgh, Budapest and Naples airports and we are in the
process of selling Stansted Airport," he said.
"The BAA name no longer fits. We do not represent all
British airports; we are not a public authority; and practically
speaking the company is no longer a group as Heathrow will
account for more than 95 percent of the business."
The group said Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Southampton and
Stansted Airports would operate solely under their own
Heathrow, which operates at close to capacity, has faced
criticism for queues, delays and operational problems, but it
successfully passed its biggest test during the London Olympics
in the summer.
"Dropping the BAA name marks a symbolic break with the
company of the past," Matthews said.
"This summer, the Olympics and Paralympics showed the UK and
Heathrow at their best, delivering a welcome of which the UK
could be proud. Now we have to build on that welcome still
further, providing a better experience to our customers every