Saturday, February 23, 2008

LCA - A Simple Case of Greed NOT Need

We hear over and over again that planes departing and arriving at London City Airport are often half empty from our insiders at LCA. To us that indicates a lack of demand. When you've just been bought by 3 global companies: AIG, GE and Credit Suisse for a reported £750 million pounds, then the pressure is clearly on to make a return on that with plenty of profit. Bearing in mind who the shareholders are, and the effect of the subprime disaster and other events on some of their balances then their buckets are for the ready to catch those golden coins.

LCA are quick to make unsubstantiated claims about the economic benefits (there is no independent evidence for this at all) for the local area in their constant pouring out of inaccurate spin. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will already know that this 'benefit' is often hard to find. Just 38% of staff come from Newham, they all have to have cars to get a job in LCA and after 20 years of the airports operation Newham is still in the top 3 of the most socially deprived boroughs in England, and it just happens to have the highest levels of asthma mortality for under 30s than in any other borough in England. That is all without taking into account that the airport costs us London Taxpayers £7million pounds a year. Ever wondered why your council tax was so high - well there is part of the answer. So lets just once and for all dispel the myth that LCA are doing anything that is led by some committment to the community. They want expansion not because it will help residents of Newham or the neighbouring boroughs - but because it will help build THEM greater profits.

So what is the real drive behind flight expansion, at any cost, to the communities in the 13 kilometer area around the airport? GREED not NEED. Pure and simple.