Passengers numbers at Stansted airport in Essex have fallen by 600,000 in the first nine months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. Between January and September 13.5 million passengers passed through the terminal.
The airport's core European traffic was down 2% and the Olympic games had a slight impact.
Matthew Hudson reports on BAA's announcement that it is to sell Stansted, and gets reaction from travel expert Simon Calder, Essex business leaders and the campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion.
Campaign group Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) says BAA's decision to sell Stansted, will allow them to 'breathe a little easier'
– Brian Ross SSE economics adviser
We are pleased with this outcome. Historically the expansion of Stansted has been cross-subsidised by Heathrow. This type of cross-subsidisation will not be an option in future and that means we can all breathe a little easier.
...Our hope is that with a new owner there will be an opportunity for genuine and meaningful dialogue based on maximising the local benefits of the airport and minimising its adverse impacts on the community.
Essex business leaders have said they are disappointed that BAA has been instructed to sell Stansted, fearing the impact it might have on the county economy.
David Burch, Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, said it was important the right buyer for the airport.
– David Burch
We are disappointed that BAA have been instructed to sell Stansted. The airport is extremely important to the economy of not just Essex but the whole of the UK, as was seen during the recent Olympic Games, and is also a major source of direct and indirect employment.
We have worked closely with BAA in the past and look forward to working with whoever takes it over to help build on its considerable successes to date. It is important that the right buyer is found to do that and we wait with interest to see who comes forward.
The owner of Stansted Airport has announced it is to sell the Essex airport.
BAA released a written statement which reads:
Having carefully considered the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling, BAA has decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court and is now proceeding with the sale of Stansted Airport. We still believe that the Competition Commission ruling fails to recognise that Stansted and Heathrow serve different markets.
Rory Taylor of the Competition Commission says today's court ruling was correct and in the "best interests of passengers and airlines".
Airport operator BAA lost its latest challenge today at the Court of Appeal against a decision forcing it to sell Stansted Airport in Essex.