Ferrovial 'committed' to second Stansted runway

13-07-2006

Ferrovial 'committed' to second Stansted runway
ADI, the consortium which helped Ferrovial buy British airport operator BAA, has reaffirmed its commitment to the construction of a second runway at Stansted Airport.

BAA's new owners said they would continue its development with a review analysing the costs and implications of a second runway, originally proposed in the government's 2003 Air Transport White Paper.

"We have made today’s statement so that all stakeholders in BAA’s UK airports are very clear that we are committed to the White Paper agenda and committed to developing Stansted’s second runway as soon as possible," said Juan Béjar, chief executive of Ferrovial Infraestructuras.

"We are reviewing the costs and plans for G2 as we would any major capital expenditure plan in the group, to ensure that it delivers value for money, but we still expect to make a planning application in summer 2007 and do not foresee any delays to the timing of the development."

Responding to ADI's announcement, low-budget airline Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary welcomed news of a second runway, saying that "Ryanair has always supported a second runway at Stansted".

But he voiced concerns that the airports operator would seek to engage in "price gouging consumers at Stansted" by spending £4 billion on the runway.

"What we oppose is the waste, the gold-plating and the land grab which was proposed by the BAA airport monopoly as a way of boosting their regulated income and profits for the next 20 or 30 year," Mr O'Leary said.

"As other airports around Europe have demonstrated, a second runway and terminal can be built for about £1bn. Ryanair looks forward to meeting with Ferrovial to explore how the second runway and terminal at Stansted can be built efficiently and sensibly, and without the waste and massive price increases originally proposed by the BAA airport monopoly."

Rival airlines easyJet and British Airways also operate from Stansted, as well as Heathrow Airport, where the government's White Paper has also recommended the construction of another runway.

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