Airport operator BAA has decided to sell Edinburgh Airport following the Competition Commission’s ruling that it must sell one of its Scottish gateways.
According to BAA, it is starting preparations for a sale and expects to formally approach the market in the New Year with a view to agreeing a sale by Summer 2012.
A spokesperson for BAA said that the decision had been "extremely difficult" but that Edinburgh was the "stronger, more resilient asset" which would be more attractive to potential buyers.
Colin Matthews, CEO at BAA, said: "Edinburgh is a great airport with a great team and a great future and we will be very sorry to see it leave BAA.
"We remain committed to Scotland and we will continue our long-term investment to improve passenger and airline experience at Aberdeen and Glasgow, as well as at Edinburgh until the sale is complete."
In 2009, the Competition Commission ruled that BAA had too much of a monopoly, and that it must divest some of its assets.
Since it was decided that BAA must sell three of its then seven UK airports, the Spanish-owned company has appealed against the decision, and failed, three times.
BAA currently owns Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports in Scotland, as well as Heathrow, Southampton and Stansted in England.
The operator sold Gatwick Airport in 2009 for €1.65 billion. It has also been told to sell London Stansted Airport. Meanwhile, BAA sold its stake in Naples Airport on October 2 for €150m.
Matthews added: "Choosing which airport to sell has been a difficult decision. Edinburgh Airport has shown itself to be a strong and resilient asset throughout the economic downturn.
"Passenger numbers at Edinburgh have grown by more than 6% over the past year and in an uncertain market we expect it to be an attractive asset to prospective buyers.
"Glasgow Airport has great opportunities for future growth and development and we think BAA is well-placed to build on its recent success. Both airports are of national importance and have a bright future."