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If this is done from tax money, it will take money away from essential services and it will keep the price of air travel low.

If the airports increase the amount of money they charge airlines to fly into them, the airlines will have to pass on the cost to travelers, and people may fly less.

Already the amount one pays on taxes and fees is larger than the advertised price of the ticket for some of the low-cost airlines.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 02:48:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
milking the poor, unsuspecting, British public.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:03:17 AM EST
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(quick explanation: Ferrovial, a Spanish group, now owns BAA, the group which owns the 3 main London airports and effectively has a (private) monopoly on travel out of London, and thus no real incentive to make travelling a more comfortable experience. Shopping space in airports has increased a lot faster than anything else over there.)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:05:07 AM EST
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Ferrovial has also said they are not willing to foot the bill for refurbishing and expanding Heathrow. The CEO of Ferrovial was quoted as saying, basically, that heathrow was in a sorry state when they bought it, and blamed the British (government?) for failing to maintain the infrastructure. He asked the question: do you want to have a first-class airport, or a crappy one? See? There's no reason for Ferrovial to sink money into British airports. If London wants an upgrade to Heathrow, they'll have to pay for it.

I love the smell of infrastructure privatisation in the morning.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:11:03 AM EST
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Quick google search...

Forbes: Ferrovial's BAA says proposed tariff cut could halt Heathrow development (06.28.07)

'If we don't get the correct settlement we could pull plans for Heathrow East,' BAA chief executive Stephen Nelson told journalists at a lunch in Madrid.

...

'The question is whether you want a good airport -- a world class airport -- or a cheap airport,' Ferrovial chairman Rafael Del Pino said.

'Heathrow is underpriced and the consequence has been that investment has been limited and customer service has not met the needs of passengers.'

Not that I'm inclined to take what the CEO of ferrovial says at face value, but "undervaluing of infrastructire resulting in underinvestment and sagging customer service" is consistent with what we know of British public service privatisation.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:17:56 AM EST
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I always rather liked the Teaco "Marinair" proposal.

Marinair

But Ferrovia could go one better.

Build the airport as an offshore island, a tax-haven,a duty-free destination - routing the Eurostar through it.

And declare it the Corporate Republic Of Ferrovia

A bit like

Sealand

Integrate it with offshore wind-power (which will happen anyway?) and tidal lagoons. Which provides an additional revenue stream for funding it.

Turn Heathrow, Stansted and Gatwick totally into shopping malls (instead of 50% as now) and cover the runways with executive residences and office parks.

What are they waiting for?

Maybe it would need a weather upgrade.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 06:29:51 AM EST
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The UK privatised BAA 'as is' (i.e. with a pre-agreed allocation of responsibilities and tasks), and the company was bought at a - very - high price by Ferrovial on the basis of the expected income it thought it would make within such framework.

The Brits might be happy to stuff Ferrovial after having let the initial shareholders gorge on the mess that the airports are (by milking out, and then selling out at a high price reflecting the monopoly nature of the asset)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 05:23:19 AM EST
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no, it's the cost of having to watch Migeru!
by zoe on Sat Jul 14th, 2007 at 06:40:10 AM EST
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