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The end of BAA

15 Oct 12 BAA, formerly British Airports Authority and for nearly 50 years one of UK construction’s biggest clients, has ceased to be.

From today the name BAA has been dropped. Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Southampton and Stansted Airports will operate solely under their own stand-alone brand.

Since the Competition Commission ordered its break-up in 2009, BAA has changed significantly.

Heathrow chief executive Colin Matthews said: "We are a different company today 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.  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% of the business."

"Dropping the BAA name marks a symbolic break with the company of the past. We want Heathrow's focus to be on its customers, to continue to improve its operational performance and to carry on investing billions of pounds in new passenger facilities. 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 single day."

History of BAA

Early 1960s: The Ministry of Defence controls all commercial aviation but as air travel becomes more popular running airports becomes too complex and time-consuming for central government.

1965: Labour minister Roy Jenkins introduces the Airports Authority Bill.  It is intended to make the nation's airports more flexible and able to generate revenue while remaining responsible to Parliament. The British Airports Authority is established and assumes responsibility for Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Prestwick airports in 1966.

1971: BAA acquires Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

1986: The Airports Act is passed, the Authority is dissolved and all its property, rights and liabilities are passed to a new company, BAA. 

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1987: BAA is floated on the stock market.

1992: Prestwick airport is sold.

2005: BAA acquires Budapest Airport.

2006: A consortium led by Ferrovial purchases BAA and BAA de-lists from the Stock Exchange.

2007: BAA sells Budapest Airport.

2009: The Competition Commission orders the sale of Gatwick, Stansted and one of either Edinburgh or Glasgow Airports.  BAA appeals against the decision to sell Stansted and Edinburgh or Glasgow. The £1.51bn sale of Gatwick Airport to an entity controlled by Global Infrastructure Partners completes in December 2009.

2010: BAA sells its stake in Naples airport for £130m.

2012: Edinburgh Airport is sold to Global Infrastructure Partners for £807m.  BAA announces the start of the sales process for Stansted Airport.

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