Growth, Open Skies and Brexit – ACI EUROPE at European Parliament

Posted: 24 January 2018 | | 1 comment

The President of ACI EUROPE has outlined the good news and challenges airports in Europe face over the coming months and years at an annual reception in the European Parliament.


SECOND TERM: The CEO of Munich Airport took the helm last year

ACI EUROPE, the association of airport operators, has provided an overview of the burning issues facing the airport industry.

Addressing delegates at its annual New Year Reception in the European Parliament last night (January 23), Dr Michael Kerkloh, the association’s President, spoke optimistically about the shape of aviation in Europe.

He referred to the traffic growth in 2017 and ACI’s support for Open Skies – a key pillar of the EU aviation strategy.

However, he also issued fresh warnings about the potential impact of Brexit, the shadow of airline protectionism and the self-serving nature of their current campaign for more airport charges regulation.

Dr Kerkloh said: “The risks of a “no deal scenario” are real – and for now, we still remain completely in the dark as to what will happen at the end of the transition. One thing is pretty clear though – the political dynamics shaping these negotiations are very much at odds with business interests.

“Over the past 20 months, ACI EUROPE has repeatedly stressed the need to keep the most liberal aviation regime between the UK and the EU – to safeguard air connectivity. Anything more restrictive than the current Single Aviation Market will come at a cost. There is just no winning alternative.”

Today, the Board of ACI EUROPE will meet with EC Task Force 50, to underline their concerns about Brexit on European aviation.

Reiterating his association’s support for the Open Skies agreements, Dr Kerkloh, who is also the CEO of Munich Airport, spoke of the current revision of EU Regulation 868/2004 on unfair trading practices in aviation.

He said:  “We are worried that some are trying to use the revision of Regulation 868 to advance a protectionist agenda. Don’t get me wrong: Open Skies need to go hand in hand with fair competition and we do support the Commission proposal.

“But the rules must be crystal clear and specific – they should not be open to different interpretations. Also, Regulation 868 should be triggered only when damage is demonstrated and only as a last resort – after all other applicable dispute resolution mechanisms have been exhausted.

“These are essential safeguards to prevent abuses in the use of this Regulation and maintain trust with our trading partners internationally.”

Dr Kerkloh also spoke about the ongoing evaluation by the European Commission of the EU Directive on Airport Charges. This, ACI EUROPE has said, involves changing market dynamics by dynamics redefining airport-airline relationships and resulting in increasing airport competition. These include Low Cost Carriers expanding at primary airports and developing long haul offerings, Full Service Carriers embracing low cost norms and consolidating and airports competing more intensely to gain this traffic.

Dr Kerkloh said: These new market dynamics need to be at the core of the evaluation. That means that the evaluation must resolve the contradiction in policy approaches between airport charges and State aid.

“The Commission’s own State aid rules and the European Court of Justice have already acknowledged the reality of airport competition. So, I have a very simple question: How can we be told that airports compete when it comes to looking at State Aid, but that airports suddenly no longer compete when it comes to dealing with airport charges?”

One response to “Growth, Open Skies and Brexit – ACI EUROPE at European Parliament”

  1. Gayle says:

    We, the British people, voted to take back FULL control of our country and that MUST include our airspace. It is IMPERATIVE that we withdraw our membership of the Single Aviation Market in order to regain our rights to decide who is/isn’t allowed to enter our territory, a right that was taken away from us when we became members of both the Single Aviation Market and the US-EU Open Skies Agreement, which is another treaty we MUST also withdraw from.

    It should be OUR right to decide who is/isn’t allowed to enter our country, OUR right to determine which countries are safe/unsafe to travel to and OUR right to determine which countries we should/should not sign bilateral aviation agreements with, NOT the EU’s.

    It is also IMPERATIVE that we leave EASA and return full responsibility of our aviation safety standards to our own Civil Aviation Authority.

    However, because the EU are unlikely to accept our demands to return control of our airspace back to us, and have also made it clear that there will be ABSOLUTELY NO aviation deal unless we agree to back down on one of our reddest of red lines and be under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice post-brexit, it is IMPERATIVE that ALL flights between our country and the EU end ALTOGETHER from brexit day onwards. It is becoming more and more obvious that this measure is literally the ONLY way we will be able to have the full, clean, hard Brexit WE voted for. It will be a shame because I have no personal grudge with individual EU member states and their governments. My grudge is against the EU as an institution because of it’s overbearing, autocratic attitude and the abominable way it treats the citizens who live in it’s member states. The EU is determined to fully take all control away from the governments of it’s member states and they constantly shout down any ideas and decisions the individual governments want to plan for their countries’ futures. The individual governments are forced to accept the EU’s decisions and abide by all of their draconian rules otherwise it’s leaders constantly threaten to cut off essential funding. This is just one of the many main reasons why we made the ABSOLUTELY RIGHT decision by voting to leave the EU.

    The other main reasons are mass uncontrollable immigration which is threatening the livelihoods of our people because UK-based multinational corporations are choosing to employ EU migrants over British workers because the migrants are willing to work for less than the National Minimum Wage which these corporations are exploiting in order to cut costs, and the EU’s so-called ‘open-borders’ and freedom of movement policies which are highly dangerous and risking literally MILLIONS of lives due to the lack of security checks and it’s unneed for a visa.

    Visa-free travel for EU nationals wishing to enter our country is NO LONGER a viable option because like the USA and other western countries (with the exception of Australia), Britain is a prime target for Islamic jihadi terrorist groups like ISIS. ONLY a full, clean, hard brexit will allow us to introduce new measures to FULLY protect our borders to reduce the risks of terrorists and other international undesirables sneaking into our country unchecked, something the EU will NOT allow us to do.

    To reiterate my comment, I want my beautiful country back, to regain our sovereignty, and for us to be FULLY free of EVERY SINGLE EU law and treaty. THOSE are MUCH more important than renewing any aviation agreements with the EU. If UK-EU flights end ALTOGETHER from brexit day onwards (which is what I’m PRAYING will happen), then SO BE IT.

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