This paper reviews the publicly stated motives for establishing the UK system for air traffic control as a public–private partnership in 2001, and the significance of this public–private partnership as an example for the reform of other systems. It examines the performance of the PPP up to the present time in terms of safety, delays due to air traffic control, efficiency and financial performance. It attempts to relate actual performance to what would have occurred under alternative arrangements. It concludes that there is no demonstrable change due to the public–private partnership other than the financial result. It argues that the financial expectations of advocates of the PPP have not been fulfilled
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