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Privatising the British Airports Authority : competitions, capture and control

Hancock, Karen and Swales, Kim (1987) Privatising the British Airports Authority : competitions, capture and control. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 12 (3). pp. 83-91. ISSN 0306-7866

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Although apparently successful, the government's privatisation programme has faced much criticism over the manner in which it has been implemented. This criticism has centered on potential conflict between the economic and policital aims of the policy. The major criticism of the government has been that when faced with these tradeoffs, short-run political considerations have too often dominated. Currently, legislation is passing through Parliament to enable the privatisation of the British Airports Authority (BAA). Detailed examination of this legislation provides a useful case study upon which to test such criticism. Privatisation of the BAA is of particular concern to Scotland as this organisation currently has a near-monopoly of airport provision north of the border.