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State Aid

Latest update August 2019


Please see the download section on the top right hand corner of this page to read the overview of this section and scroll down the page to read the latest updates on ERA's activities and position. 

ERA’s Position

ERA calls for a clear EU strategy and framework that focuses on EU regions and their socio-economic development. State aid is an important, and in some geographic locations, critical aspect of the EU transports strategy, without which the very survival of some regional areas would be jeopardised. ERA believes that transparency is of the utmost importance in ensuring free competition. The current state aid guidelines do not explicitly state how transparency should be attained. In any case, state aid must not interfere with the market, distort competition or lead to an imbalance between modes.

ERA would welcome a revision of the rules if this review provides the following:
• Simplification and increased transparency (at all EU airports, irrespective of size/volume of passengers)
• More fair and consistent enforcement of State aid rules to airports and airlines
• Careful consideration for regional, remote and/or smaller airports.
• Rules to avoid distortion of competition between airports, and between airlines located in the same catchment area
• A simple, effective and expeditious complaint handling process that allows operators or airports to challenge possible breaches of the guideline. In order to allow operators to assess whether breaches are taking place it is essential that they have access to data on costs and charges being levied at airports.

Furthermore, ERA is concerned that aviation infrastructure has been, to a large extent, excluded from TEN-T funding. Any future revision of the guidelines should ensure the inclusion of aviation in all opportunities for funding, fairly and equally as with other modes of transport


Latest update 01/08/2019: In January 2019, the European Commission launched a comprehensive policy evaluation in the area of State aid (“Fitness Check”). Part of this exercise was the evaluation of the framework applicable to airports and airlines to assess if the current rules are still fit for purpose. Besides the general public consultation on the Fitness Check of EU State aid rules, this targeted consultation aimed to ask supplementary questions in order to gather stakeholders’ views on the implementation of the 2014 Aviation Guidelines as well as the relevant provisions in the General Block Exemption Regulation and to receive insights about potential gaps, overlaps, or excessive regulatory burden. ERA took part in the targeted consultation and submitted a response on behalf of its members. 


All associated papers are available by clicking on the Downloads button on this page.


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