Airline group is against government's reduction in stake of NATS

The UK Government is considering reducing its 49% stake in NATS in order to help reduce the UK's national debt.
The Airline Group, which presently has a 42% stake in NATS said that the reduction in the government's stake would damage the influence that NATS has in the future development of Air Traffic Control.

The group is urging the government not to reduce it's stake below 25%.

Peter Read, Chairman of the group said, "The main point is that the 25 percent minimum government shareholding is on the basis that NATS needs to have a high degree of influence in Europe."

In a letter to transport minister Philip Hammond, Read said; "Reducing NATS' weight in Europe would enable countries such as France, Germany and Spain to decide the future of the air traffic control industry."

The final decision on how the government proceeds will most likely be made before the budget which has been set for the 23rd March.
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