BELGIUM: Airlines speak against Europe’s new proposals

Europe’s airlines have expressed their disappointment with the European Parliament’s adoption of a legislative report that sets out common principles for the levying of charges at airports inthe 27-member EU bloc. The proposal for a directive on airport charges is part of the European Commission’s so-called Airport Package released in January 2007 and aims to […]


Europe’s airlines have expressed their disappointment with the European Parliament’s adoption of a legislative report that sets out common principles for the levying of charges at airports inthe 27-member EU bloc.

The proposal for a directive on airport charges is part of the European Commission’s so-called Airport Package released in January 2007 and aims to prevent any abuse of a dominant position in the market by individual airports.

Airports will be bound by common rules on provision of mutual information and transparency of charges; however, they will have a choice of using either dual- or single-till financing. EU parliamentarians also introduced a new amendment saying that the "airport managing body may pre-finance new infrastructure projects by increasing airport charges accordingly," according to a report in ATW Online.

"Association of European Airlines (AEA) has argued for years that the monopoly pricing power of the airports must be tempered by economic regulation. Pricing must be transparent, in other words visibly related to costs, but there is no obligation on airports to show restraint in their spending," AEA Secretary General Ulrich Schulte- Strathaus said.

For International Air Carrier Assn. DG Sylviane Lust, it is "economic nonsense to allow airports to pre-finance infrastructure projects through airport charges. This allows airports to start building and shift the risk of investment entirely onto airlines."