With completion of the Manchester Airport Group (MAG) take over of Stansted today, there is plenty the Mayor of London could learn from this consortium of Greater Manchester local authorities purchase of this one airport and thus becoming a real player in aviation in London & the South-East. For example how to actually run a commerical airport in the interests of their local authority shareholders rather then going on about airy fairy airport expansion plans in London & the South East. So in this respect local authorities like the City of Manchester along with Bolton, Rochdale, Wigan, Stockport, Salford, Tameside, Oldham, Trafford & Bury know alot more about aviation then Boris Johnson does at present. It’s potentially a game changer for increasing airport capacity in the South East, as well as it gives them a good base from which to put up firm proposals. The mayor of London certainly does not have that at all.
At the last Transport Committee l asked the mayor’s adviser on aviation, Councillor Daniel Moylan whether it had occurred to the Mayor to have made a bid for Stansted, as we heard for the first time about the MAG bid? I was told that was commerically confidential! My blog at the time suggested it was an example of municipal capitalism coming down to London but I am not sure it was ever seriously considered by them.
The Mayor quite honestly would have been better off buying Stansted for £1.5 billion like our colleagues in local government of Greater Manchester, rather than chasing Arab shiekhs for some loose change of up to £80 billion for far fetched ideas like the Thames Estuary airport. There are rumours he will soon go to the Middle East for backers for his aviation ideas.
So in short Manchester local authorities can teach Boris a thing or two about the aviation business. Thus the Mayor would be better off taking the train to Manchester then a flight to the Middle East!