The break-up of airports operator BAA has moved closer following criticism from the Competition Commission, with Gatwick and Stansted likely to be targeted by potential buyers. Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent

The Commission said BAA’s control of seven UK airports, including Heathrow, was not in the best interests of airlines or passengers.

Analysts believe that there would be no shortage of bidders if the airports are split up, and a number of rival operators and infrastructure funds are already rumoured to be considering possible offers despite BAA's insistence that it has no plans to sell assets. BAA, owned by Spain's Ferrovial, dominates markets in south-east England and Scotland, limiting choice and contributing to a shortage of airport capacity, the Commission said. Although the regulator will not publish its full report until August, it is 'inclined to the view' there should be 'the sale of one or more of BAA’s airports'.