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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mensagem para a ANA

Eammon Butler no ASI Blog:

Back in 1982, the Adam Smith Institute recommended (in a short paper by Sean Barrett) that the British Airports Authority should be privatized. A few years later, it was, transforming itself into BAA plc.

But the ASI proposal would have split up the conglomerate – making the London airports separate companies (Heathrow, Gatwick, and now Stansted), and likewise with the Scottish airports (BAA still runs Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh). In London in particular, we felt it important to have competition to attract plane movements in and out. Unfortunately, Mrs Thatcher's government was not brave enough (or needed the money) and privatized the group with (virtual) Scottish and London monopolies.

The success of regional airports such as Manchester and Luton – the latter made itself the home of easyJet – show that we were right. Competition brings benefits. But now we might actually get competition in London's airports anyway. Tom Bawden and Peter Clinger report that Star Capital, Group Ferrovial, and maybe others, are considering bids for BAA plc. But with all these big airports, the group is asset-rich and expensive. The suggestion is that Ferrovial for one would be interested in buying BAA plc precisely to get Heathrow – one of the world's busiest airports – and would quickly sell the rest.

That would be excellent news for UK air travellers. It would mean a real market in take-off and landing slots would develop. Airports would be competing for airlines and for travellers. Who knows: we might end up being treated like valued customers rather than as cattle being herded through the pens.

(via A Arte da Fuga)
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