7th October 2005
How much did you pay for this rubbish, BAA?
Stop Stansted Expansion (SSE) has ridiculed a report trumpeted in a BAA press release today (7 October 2005) which makes extravagant claims about the contribution made by airports to the UK economy whilst ignoring the economic downsides.
The report was actually published last month by the Airports Operators Association (AOA) whose motto is “Speaking for Airports”. [see Note 1]
SSE Economics Adviser Brian Ross described the report as “About as independent as having Alex Ferguson referee his own team in a home game at Old Trafford.” Mr Ross continued: “This report has been bought and paid for by the AOA whose largest member is BAA. It’s not worth the paper its printed upon but it would be amusing to find out how much they had to pay for this rubbish.”
For anyone interested in genuine independent analysis, SSE recommends the official government data published by the Office of National Statistics, which show that the UK had a Balance of Payments deficit of £18.5 billion in 2004 on air travel and tourism. [see Note 2]
Brian Ross concluded, “You don’t need a Nobel Prize in economics to question the overall economic benefit to the UK of subsidising an Irish airline to buy American aeroplanes in order to transport vast numbers of British people to spend their money in France and Spain.”
Note 1: “The Economic & Social Impact of Airports”, Airport Operators Association, September 2005
Note 2: Sources: ONS Travel and Tourism MQ6 series data for 2004, International Passenger Survey, 2004 and ‘The Pink Book, 2005’, ONS, Chapter 3, page 42 – all accessible via the ONS website at www.statistics.gov.uk