26 September 2008

O'Leary Slams Regulator; Demands Boss's Resignation, The Professor Says Breakup.

Normally most of us have reactions ranging from a wry smile or a smirk to a rearranging of the clothing when we read or hear something from the flamboyant CEO of Ryanair.

Today's outburst is aimed at Dr Harry Bush the head of the UK Aviation Regulator the CAA.

The somewhat abrupt U-Turn by Dr Bush on the privatization of BAA plc is the issue. Earlier this week the CAA came out publicly in support of the breakup of BAA. And here MOL has a good point. For the past 20 years the CAA has rubber stamped what ever BAA wanted. While the charges, to those who follow Ryanair vs Dublin Airport (in all its guises), may sound remarkably similar - MOL does indeed have a solid case that the CAA as regulator has been somewhat asleep at the wheel while London's airports have deteriorated in service and capability over the last 20 years.

Veteran readers of this blog will recall the Professor's rants about the state of BAA and its service offerings over the last 3 years. Terminal 2 is a disgrace and now thankfully will be put out of its misery. Terminal 1 is finally starting to get some attention and Terminal 4 well the best description I can give it is downright grungy. T5 while a distinct improvement still has some fundamental flaws in its design and the quality of the workmanship was just appalling.

Compared to the simplicity of design of other new terminals for high volume airports elsewhere in the world - the CAA supervised BAA designs have been a major disappointment.

It seems that only now the regulator has woken up to the fact that there may be a problem.

So I will go one better than MOL and demand that the CAA be broken up into at least 2 possibly separate entities.

Airport/Airways infrastructure should be handled by a single entity. This is distinct function. Aircraft licensing and everything thing to do with registrations - should be kept or even placed into another.

Finally the bonding issue is not something that the regulator should be involved in. Make a decision and move on. This can be handled by a commercially mandated company. In the same way that the slot committee (Airport Coordination Ltd) is run.



No comments: