BAA Limited

BAA Limited

Infobox Company

company_name = BAA Limited
company_type = Private
foundation = 13 December 1985 (as BAA plc)
location = London, England, UK
key_people = Colin Matthews (CEO)
Sir Nigel Rudd (Chairman)
industry = Transport
products = Airport operations and services
revenue = £2,232 million (2006)
operating_income = £710 million
net_income =
num_employees = 12,471 (2005)
parent = Grupo Ferrovial (Spain)
subsid =
homepage = []
footnotes =

BAA Limited is the owner and operator of seven British airports and the operator of several other airports worldwide, making the company one of the largest transport companies in the world. It is owned by a consortium led by Grupo Ferrovial, a Spanish firm specialising in infrastructure.

BAA makes money from charging landing fees to airlines and increasingly from retail operations within those airports. BAA does not operate all UK airports - many are in the ownership of local authorities or other corporations.


The British Airports Authority was established by the passing of the Airport Authority Act 1966, to take responsibility for four state-owned airports - London Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport, London Stansted Airport and Prestwick International Airport. In the following few years, the authority acquired responsibility for Glasgow International Airport, Edinburgh Airport and Aberdeen Airport.

As part of Margaret Thatcher's moves to privatise government owned assets, the Airports Act 1986 was passed which mandated the creation of BAA plc as a vehicle by which stock market funds could be raised. The initial capitalisation of BAA plc was £1,225 million. In the early 1990s, the company sold Prestwick International Airport.

In July 2006, BAA was taken over by a consortium led by Grupo Ferrovial, following a bid which valued the company at £10.1 billion ($20 billion). "The Economist", [ "The man who bought trouble"] . Consulted on July 18, 2007. ] As a result, the company was delisted from the London Stock Exchange (where it had previously been part of the FTSE100 index) on 15 August 2006, and the company name was subsequently changed from BAA plc to BAA Limited.

Recent Expansion

Recently BAA has expanded into international operations, including retail contracts at Boston Logan International Airport and Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (through its subsidiary BAA USA, Inc.), and a management contract with the City of Indianapolis to run the Indianapolis International Airport (as BAA Indianapolis, Inc.).

In December 2005, BAA made a winning bid of £1.2 billion for a 75% stake in Budapest Ferihegy International Airport, the largest airport in Hungary, which was being privatised by the Hungarian government. Following the take-over of BAA by Grupo Ferrovial in 2006, the decision was made to sell the stake in Ferihegy and this was completed in June 2007, when a consortium led by Hochtief AirPort of Germany purchased the stake. [ [ BBC NEWS | Business | BAA closing in on Hungarian deal ] ]


Although the company is adamant that its name is strictly "BAA Limited" and that the letters do not officially stand for anything, it is still widely (albeit erroneously) referred to as the "British Airports Authority" by both the media and the public - even though the Authority officially ceased to exist following the 1986 privatisation.


Heathrow management

BAA has garnered criticism for its handling of Heathrow, namely its predominant placement of shops rather than extra security aisles. After much criticism for this, BAA has now removed some shops to provide extra security lanes. "The Economist" writes that retail is important for BAA at Heathrow because, by law, landing charges are much less than those of similar-scope airports and retail shops help make up the difference.


The British government has looked into a possible monopoly BAA holds over London's three largest airports. News reports claim that the competition has decided that two of the three airports owned by BAA in London must be sold, to increase competition. It is believed, that Gatwick and Stansted will be sold, because Heathrow is the biggest airport. The competition commission is also believed to have decided that BAA should not own Glasgow airport as well as the airport in Edinburgh. [ [ BAA may have to sell 3 of its 7 UK airports] ]

Heathrow protest injunction

In July 2007 BAA sought an injunction preventing potential protesters involved in the Camp for Climate Action from approaching its London Heathrow Airport. The injunction specifically targeted anyone belonging to, or protesting in the name of, [ AirportWatch] , [ The No Third Runway Action Group] and [ Plane Stupid] . However, Airport Watch members included Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the World Development Movement, the National Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds - all of whom were caught by what became known as the 'Mother of all Injunctions'. [ [ New Statesman - The mother of all injunctions ] ] BAA denied seeking a blanket ban on airport protest. In the end BAA won a very much more limited injunction [ [ BBC NEWS | UK | BAA wins Heathrow protesters ban ] ] and the camp went ahead amid considerable worldwide publicity. [ [ BBC NEWS | UK | Heathrow protesters set up camp ] ] Afterward, Duncan Bonfield, BAA director of corporate affairs, and Mark Mann, BAA head of media relations, resigned without stating their reasons. [ [ Two top press officers resign from BAA | Business | Reuters ] ]

Climate change

BAA is a founding member of Flying Matters [ [ Flying Matters | About ] ] , a coalition of business groups, trade unions, tourism groups and the aviation industry (airports, airlines, aerospace manufacturers and air traffic control) [ [ Flying Matters | Voters in key marginals shun Conservative proposals for higher taxes on air travel ] ] launched in June 2007 [ [ Travel industry to launch climate-change lobby group : Gatwick Airport News Stories ] ] to "balance the argument around issues of aviation and climate change" arguing that aviation does not contribute significantly to climate change, and that an expansion of aviation will aid the developing world, benefit social justice, and is essential for UK tourism and for the UK economy.

BAA Interests

Owned and operated by BAA

* Aberdeen Airport
* Edinburgh Airport
* Glasgow International Airport
* London Gatwick Airport
* London Heathrow Airport
* London Stansted Airport
* Southampton Airport


* London Gatwick Airport [cite news |first=Javier |last=Espinoza |title=London's Gatwick Up For Sale |url= |publisher="Forbes" |date=2008-09-17 |accessdate=2008-09-17 |archiveurl= |archivedate= ]

Operated by BAA

* Naples International Airport (Italy)

Retail management

* Baltimore-Washington International Airport
* Boston Logan International Airport
* Pittsburgh International Airport


External links

* [ BAA - Official website]

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