Airport industry discuss proposed EU Aviation Package
Posted: 16 October 2015 | Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review
Members of the European airport industry met with EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc to discuss a strategy aimed at boosting the competitiveness of European aviation. Augustin de Romanet, President of ACI EUROPE and President and CEO of Aéroports de Paris met with the EU Transport Commissioner alongside Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport and Armando […]
Members of the European airport industry met with EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc to discuss a strategy aimed at boosting the competitiveness of European aviation.
Augustin de Romanet, President of ACI EUROPE and President and CEO of Aéroports de Paris met with the EU Transport Commissioner alongside Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport and Armando Brunini, CEO of Aeroporto di Napoli to discuss the formal adoption of the EU Aviation Package, optimising its role as an enabler of economic growth and job creation. The formal adoption of the Package is currently planned for December 2015.
The Airport CEOs reiterated their support for the initiative and stressed the strategic relevance of air connectivity for the EU economy in relation to Europe’s increasing dependence on external trade and foreign direct investment.
They also underlined Europe’s needs to embrace the strategic relevance of aviation. According to ACI EUROPE prominent emerging economies have already made the link, actively supporting air connectivity with aviation growth being part of their economic development policies. It believes ‘the lack of political support for aviation and unaligned regulatory intervention is hampering the development of air connectivity and creating a widening competitive deficit for the European aviation sector.’
“The Aviation Package is a unique opportunity to reset aviation policy with a strong focus on connectivity, consumers and the economy.”
Augustin de Romanet explains: “The Aviation Package is a unique opportunity to reset aviation policy with a strong focus on connectivity, consumers and the economy. The issues that need to be addressed are many, starting from our license to grow and the looming airport capacity crunch. They also include scrapping heavy and unfair national aviation taxes, securing access to emerging markets through Open Skies, delivering the Single European Sky and reducing regulatory cost inefficiencies – in particular within aviation security.”
He added “All these issues have an impact on our competitiveness and they all require concerted action between EU and national levels. To be bold and actually stand a chance of success, the Aviation Package should not just be about what the Commission can do – it should also be about what Member States will need to do at home to ensure policy alignment in support of connectivity.”
ACI EUROPE calls on Commissioner to resist airline centric approaches to aviation
ACI EUROPE has also called on the Commissioner to resist airline centric approaches to aviation policy but instead favouring a focus on connectivity, consumers and the economy. ACI EUROPE highlights the recent debates on external relations and Open Skies, as well as airport charges.
Augustin de Romanet continues: “In Europe, airport charges only make up 47% of total airport revenues. This means that airlines are a long way from paying the cost of the infrastructure they use – and indeed are already heavily subsidised by airports. Asking for even more regulatory intervention ignores the reality of airport competition. Crucially, this would also prevent airports from continuing to invest in improving and expanding their facilities. In doing so, incumbent airlines maintain their dominance – undermining competition, limiting the development of connectivity and driving air fares upwards.”
In addition, ACI Europe has issued a Recommended Practice on the provision of water, in the context of the current regulatory restrictions which prevent passengers from taking bottled water through security checkpoints. As a result, 126 airports welcoming almost 50 percent of European passengers have either implemented or have imminent plans to implement water availability after security checkpoints via water fountains or low cost water initiatives.
On this initiative, Commissioner Violeta Bulc commented: “I fully support ACI EUROPE’s proactive approach towards improving the passenger – and consumer – experience across the European airport network. This initiative allowing air passengers easier, cheaper access to water is the right move. I congratulate the airports who have already led the way and urge others to implement this recommended practice as soon as they can.”