The competition authority the ACCC says the five biggest airports in Australia are failing their customers to an unprecedented degree and has called for increased infrastructure investment to overcome congestion and dissatisfaction with their performance.
ABC News 24 has already blitzed the airports with live vox pops with travellers this morning, with apologists outnumbered about three to one by furious passengers if the current on going coverage is a guide to sentiment.
This is the most unsatisfactory state of affairs at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide airports yet measured by a range of metrics by the ACCC, with the prime complaints being chronic delays and overcrowding and outrageously costly parking fees particularly at Sydney.
The actual wording of the competition authority’s report is clinically damning, compared to the scenes of visibly annoyed and inconvenienced travellers appearing live on screen.
This comparison between a report, and those affected by a report, is something for students of media to savor if they have time to watch.
Even more so if they happen to be at a boarding gate experiencing the generally second rate consequences of the sale of a natural monopoly, a major city airport, for short term financial gain, to owners who are free to screw the airlines, their passengers and those businesses with airport leases for all that they think they can get away with.
All that would be left to complete this morning’s spectacle would be for the ABC to have arranged for the Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, to have coincidentally come within range of the news crew at the same time as the Premier of NSW, Barry O’Farrell, for a spontaneous debate about how Sydney Airport can cope superbly with the Asia Century from now until 2049 and never need another airport in the Sydney basin.
Unfortunately this hasn’t happened, but the consolation prize for what has been one of ABC News 24’s better mornings has been to see Virginia Trioli, ask an evasive shadow treasurer Joe Hockey whether he wanted her to answer his rhetorical questions for him.