Airline associations call for improvements in the area of airport charges
Today, the European Commission published its report on the implementation of the Airport Charges Directive. The Commission rightly acknowledges some of the weaknesses in the current Directive, the problems associated with its transposition into national law and, ultimately, its implementation at local level.
However, the heads of the airline associations AEA, ELFA, ERA and IACA are deeply disappointed that the EC does not propose enough concrete steps to address the failings identified in the timely report, advising: “We need cost-efficient airport charges that are set in a transparent way, based on a meaningful consultation between airports and airlines, and that are subject to truly independent regulatory oversight. If this cannot be achieved under the current framework, improved legislation is necessary.”
The ever-increasing costs of infrastructure in Europe demonstrate the monopolistic nature of airports and therefore the need for an effective regulatory framework. Because airport charges account for a significant proportion of airlines’ operating costs, bringing them down would increase the competitiveness of airlines to the ultimate benefit of the European consumer. “Therefore, we look forward to working constructively with the Commission, the regulators and the airports in order to strengthen Europe’s air transport sector.”