The International Air Transport Association has greeted
the European Commission proposal for a directive on airport charges
as a first step in the process of making the relationship between
airlines and airports better contribute to Europe’s competitiveness.“The proposal moves Europe towards bringing balance back to the
relationship between airport monopolies and their customers. Complete
transparency for airports and consultation with airlines is a good
start. The requirement for independent national regulatory authorities,
following International Civil Aviation Organisation principles, is a
positive follow-up. But it falls far short of expectations in the
critical area of setting cost-efficiency targets,” said Giovanni
Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“The Commission has set the stage and is putting the actors in place.
That’s important. But let’s not forget the plot-cost efficiency. In the
coming months we will be working with the Commission, the Parliament and
national governments to define cost efficiency parameters. Only then can
we call this a success story and a landmark package,” said Bisignani.
Bisignani re-iterated the problem. “Commercial discipline has made the
European airline sector among the world’s most competitive and
profitable-contributing significantly to Europe’s Lisbon Agenda goals.
Consumers are benefiting from airline fares at least a third lower than
a decade ago even as airlines invest billions in new and more
environmentally friendly fleets. Now airports need to catch up and keep
pace with airline efficiency gains. But instead of cost reductions, too
often we see double-digit increases. Look at London Heathrow where we
could face a 50% increase between 2008 and 2013 or France, where the
government approved a 27% increase in charges at Charles de Gaulle for
2006-2010. It’s a real problem. Cost-efficiency targets must be at the
core of the solution,” said Bisignani.