BAA invests in its leaders despite economic slump

BAA is forging ahead with its leadership training programme despite the
downturn in the airline sector after 11 September.

Group HR director Priscilla Vacassin said the organisation will continue to
focus on developing its people despite the current troubles and claimed that it
is now benefiting from long-term investment in staff.

"BAA has a strong investment attitude to its people and that’s why
staff stay around the company for a long time. In fact, we spend over £700 per
head on training and development for our staff every year," she said.

"I think that when times get tough you reap the rewards and benefits of
that investment, especially in a recession."

The leadership initiative is designed to improve skills in the business
planning process and in project teams.

"What happened doesn’t change the medium or long-term objectives, but
it reminds you as an organisation that you have to be at your best when times
are tough," said Vacassin, who has overall responsibility for HR at seven
airports including Heathrow.

Vacassin also stressed the importance of good communications in times of

"We have put in place additional arrangements to ensure communication
is even more regular.

"These include staff business briefings, regular communication updates
via e-mail, intranet, newsletters and letters from the chief executive,"
she said.

By Ross Wigham

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