I spoke earlier about the absolutely pathetic way BAA is performing. And yesterday, the Competition Commission of the United Kingdom tore some strips off BAA for being far too expensive and being disgusting in its service levels.
Quoting from the Times Report:
It said that the airports had "acted against the public interest" by failing to manage security queues to avoid "unacceptable delays to passengers".
The authority said that it had seen no improvement in performance in the past five years.
"In particular they have failed to manage security queuing and queue times to avoid unacceptable delays to passengers and flights and consequently have not furthered the reasonable interests of the users of Heathrow and Gatwick."
Frankly, for Heathrow (the premier international gateway to the world) to see this kind of service is disgraceful. People (including myself) fly from Heathrow because we have to not because we want to.
One thing which people forget is that public infrastructure should follow the "sewer principle". The sewer principle is based upon the fact that sewers are supposed to be out of sight, not make headlines, not gum up. Because when they do gum up, they make an almighty stink. Similarly, people are using public infrastructure such as airports to go from A to B. When the means becomes the news, then that means that it is failing in its primary purpose.
And now the probability that the BAA firm is going to be broken up is far higher, and if you ask me, well overdone. BAA needs to be broken up and that too very quickly. While we are at it, somebody should look at the regulatory framework as well, because I think there are way too many gaps between BAA, Civil Aviation Authority and the Competition Commission. After the disaster with Northern Rock, I would be a bit more careful and pre-emptive with my regulatory oversight if I was the government.