A little while ago you reported in your paper that both the Minister for Infrastructure, Phil Gawne, and the airport manger had both said that there was ‘at least’ a saving of £2 million per annum in operational costs that could be achieved if the airport was to be run on more commercial lines.
Since then there has been silence on what will be done to reduce the burden on taxpayers of subsidising the airport.
As long as opaque subsidies are provided to businesses there is little incentive for management to implement changes that will improve effectiveness.
Given the tight economic situation that we are in, why not abolish the airport subsidy and let the airport recover its operating costs in full through its charges to its users? By doing this not only would it be ‘user pays’ but also the cost per passenger would be completely visible to the public rather than hidden away as at present.
Such financial transparency would place much more incentive on the airport to deliver the savings that the manager has said can be made.
If this is proving difficult to deliver then by going to a full user pays approach at least the costs would be collected along commercial lines not through the general taxation system.