Wednesday, May 09, 2007

BAA-Humbug. The Next Instalment

Talk in the press the last few days is about the BAA's expansion plans at Glasgow Airport. It is on the face f it not much of a story, but it could mask activity on the part of the BAA that is all part of some Machiavellian planning.

Naturally it involves the BAA once again peddling out of date figures, numbers that show wildly inflated passenger estimates. They are forecasting 24 million passengers by 2030, a number that has been around since 2005 and is at the upper estimate of the BAA's forecast for the airport. Glasgow's growth has slowed to a trickle, last year it was less than 1%, having been 2.5% in 2005 and about 5% p.a. for the three previous years. If Glasgow's passenger numbers increase this year in line with where they have started they could well be below 1% in 2007. Let's say it is 1% and that will still mean the airport will see below 9 million passengers for the calendar year 2007.

This means that the BAA's total passengers for Glasgow will likely be around 16 million by 2030.

Of course it could be that the BAA is trying to build up the value of both Edinburgh and Glasgow because it may still happen that they are forced to sell one of them off. The OFT is on the warpath. My money is on the fact that either Glasgow or Edinburgh will be sold, but who will the buyer be? The Scottish Executive?


Heather Yaxley said...

Selective use of statistics is a classic rhetorical (propaganda?) tactic and to be deplored. Good to see you challenge this - shame that so many journalists just accept and use the statistics issued by companies without checking other available data.

Richard Havers said...

Heather, this is a long running saga with the BAA. I've even spoken with the journalist at the Scotsman about it. He gives little in the way of a proper explanation. I emailed him this morning and I eagerly await his reply - probably a deafening silence. Still it's all good sport!

David Ross said...

Richard, Its not BAA that are involved in the airport at Humbug its Lyin'air. Apparently they have procured a little airport 101 miles from Humbug and they will transport passengers the rest of the way by coach. Flights are only 1c plus €283.46 hidden taxes.

I hope this clears up the matter.

Ellee said...

But doesn't Glasgow have two airports?

I guess journalists work on the info they are given, they take the easy way out, unless they have personal knowledge and know they should challenge the facts.

Richard Havers said...

Actually to be fair to the journalist he emailed and then called me. I have to retract my comments about him. His name is Alastair Dalton and i give him credit for following up on it. It seems there will be another story about the BAA not forecasting as they should

Richard Thomson said...

Great post title!

You can't rule anything out, but I can't see the Executive wanting to buy either airport, except in exceptional circumstances. Budgets are about to get tighter and any decision to invest or not in either airport after it had been bought would lead to accusations of the government favouring one part of the country over another.

If Edinburgh Airport went on the market, my money would be on the Royal Bank being involved in some sort of bid to take it over. The airport is crucial to their location just across the A8, they certainly have the money and by all accounts, they own a huge amount of the surrounding land already.