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PPP COULD RETURN TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR, SAYS NATS CHIEF

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Richard Everitt, chief executive of National Air Traffic Services, has warned there is a 'very strong prospect' of ...
Richard Everitt, chief executive of National Air Traffic Services, has warned there is a 'very strong prospect' of the part-privatisation unravelling and the company returning to the public sector, reported The Independent on Sunday (Business, p1).

The comments represent the strongest indication yet of NATS' dire financial situation, which threatens to turn NATS into another Railtrack or British Energy. According to Mr Everitt, the fate of the£765m public private partnership - under which BA, Virgin, easyJet and BMI - took a 46% stake in NATS - rests with the Civil Aviation Authority.

Industry sources said the regulator will publish its long-awaited ruling on NATS' application to increase its charges this week. If the CAA says yes, it will trigger up to£65m of new investment in NATS by airports operator BAA, to be matched pound-for-pound by the government. However, in a report to the CAA, Nats says that if the application is rejected then 'there is a very strong prospect of NATS' return to the public sector'.
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