Lack of investment into European airports to affect future development

Posted: 20 November 2019 | | No comments yet

ACI EUROPE says a background of generally lacking investment into airports throughout Europe will impact decarbonisation abilities and competitive positions.

ACI World publishes annual Airport Economics Report for 2018

ACI Europe has drawn attention to the lack of investments into transport infrastructure throughout Europe, stating that the region is facing a €12.3 billion investment gap over the next five years, adding to a 12 per cent shortfall between needed and realised airport investment since 2013.

Director General of ACI Europe, Olivier Jankovec, said: “The airport investment gap reflects more unpredictable trading conditions and increasing competitive pressures. But there is no doubt it is also down to incumbent airline opposition to our investments as they seek to protect their own market position. Inadequate airport regulation is also an increasing factor. Decisions or proposals tabled over the past months by regulators in France, Italy, Ireland and Switzerland are now challenging airport investment plans. Today’s priorities should be about sustainability, capacity and consumer interest. It is high time regulators start focusing on these, rather than airlines’ interest.”

The lack of airport investment will impact the region drastically; the EU’s competitive position faces becoming compromised, and economic convergence and the full benefits of the single market are threatened.

Most notably, airport abilities to decarbonise and achieve net-zero COemissions are heavily impacted. In June 2018, European airport’s committed to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 at the latest, building on the efforts of the previous 10 years. However, achieving this commitment will require a significant amount of investment in order to decarbonise both facilities and vehicle fleets.

Jankovec continued: “Retrofitting existing passenger terminals and developing new ones to the highest energy efficiency standards will alone require at least €25.9 billion in additional investments. While this will generate significant savings overtime in terms of operating costs, these savings will only materialise if and once these investments have been made. This means that giving airports the freedom and license to invest is a prerequisite for them to decarbonise.” 

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