The company formerly known as BAA is to sell Stansted airport to the Manchester Airports group for £1.5 billion.
The deal, announced late this evening, will mean that BAA - now known as Heathrow Airport Holdings - will be responsible for just four UK airports compared with its original seven.
The remaining ones are Heathrow, Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow.
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After a murky start most inland areas will brighten up, although low cloud may linger near the coast.