EU’s plan to regulate airport’s right to charge could lead to more red tape and higher fares for passengers

Brussels: November 22snd 2007 — Conservatives today called for most UK airports to be removed from the Commission’s proposals on airport charges.

The Commission has presented plans for a Directive on Airport Charges, i.e. fees charged by airports in return for providing a number of services and facilities, such as terminals. The aim is to put an end to disputes between airlines and airports over the cost and quality of services they provide. However, the CAA presently price-regulates Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted airports, with Manchester and Stansted under consideration for de-regulation.

Sir Robert Atkins MEP, Conservative Deputy Leader in the European Parliament, says:

“The directive says that any airport with more than one million passengers a year passing through it must comply with new regulations. On present statistics it would result in more red tape for some 142 European airports, 20 of which are in the UK. These would include airports such as Cardiff and London City; and in the future, Bournemouth and Doncaster.”

He added:

“It is perverse for the UK to be faced with a directive whose one million passenger threshold might result in a five to ten fold increase in UK airport regulation. It also means that the UK CAA could be drawn into a dispute following any negotiation with which either party was dissatisfied, then this would have the potential to add even more bureaucracy and cost to the present UK system.”

Top ↑