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Aviation security charges

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Aviation security charges

This Proposal aims to establish a common framework for regulating the essential features of security charges and the way in which they are set, ensuring transparency for airport users.


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on aviation security charges [COM (2009) 217 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This Proposal details a certain number of principles with which airport operators must comply when setting their security charges *.


This Proposal concerns all airports located in a territory subject to the provisions of the Treaty. However, it does not apply to the following charges:

  • those collected for the remuneration of en-route and terminal air navigation services in accordance with Regulation 1794/2006/EC;
  • those collected for the remuneration of groundhandling services referred to in the Annex to Directive 96/76/EC.


The national authorities shall ensure that security charges do not discriminate between airport users * or air passengers.


The airport managing body * should be informed of the costs of providing aviation security services at the airport.

A consultation between the airport managing body and users regarding the operation of the system of security charges and the level of such charges should be organised at least once a year at the airports. All proposals relating to changing the system or the level of charges must be submitted to users. The managing body shall take the views of users into account before a decision is taken. The decision must be published at least two months before it enters into force.


The managing body shall provide users with the following information on how all the security charges collected at the airport are determined:

  • the various services and infrastructures provided in return for the security charge levied;
  • the method of calculation of security charges and the expected level of these charges;
  • the revenue and cost of each category of security charges levied at the airport;
  • the total number of staff deployed to services responsible for the collection of charges;
  • investments that may affect the level of security charges.

Impact assessment

Before adopting measures pursuant to Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 300/2008, Member States shall undertake impact assessments. The assessment must cover the effects of these measures on the level of security charges. The Commission must be informed of the results of this assessment.

Cost-relatedness of security charges

Security costs shall be determined using the principles of accounting and evaluation in force in the Member States. They must take account of:

  • the cost of financing the facilities and installations dedicated to security operations;
  • the expenditure on security staff and security operations;
  • the grants received from the authorities for security purposes.

An independent supervisory authority

Each Member State shall establish a national independent authority to ensure that the measures taken to comply with this Directive are correctly applied. That body may be the same as the entity entrusted with the application of Directive 2009/12/EC on airport charges.

Member States shall ensure that this authority performs its tasks in an independent and transparent manner. The Commission shall be informed of the authority’s contact details as well as its tasks and responsibilities.

In the case of a disagreement regarding security charges, Member States shall ensure:

  • that a procedure is in place for resolving disagreements;
  • that the conditions under which a disagreement may be submitted to the supervisory authority have been identified, in particular so that it can dismiss complaints which it deems are not properly justified or adequately documented;
  • that the criteria against which disagreements will be assessed for resolution have been established.

The supervisory authority is responsible for drafting an annual report on its activities.

Key terms of the Act

  • Airport managing body: a body which, whether or not in conjunction with other activities, has as its objective under national laws or regulations the administration and management of the airport infrastructures and the coordination and control of the activities of the different operators present in the airports concerned.
  • Airport user: any natural or legal person responsible for the carriage of passengers, mail and/or freight by air from or to the airport concerned.
  • Security charge: a levy which is specifically designed to recover all or part of the cost of security measures intended to protect civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference.

References and procedure


Official Journal




Codecision COD/2009/0063

Last updated: 13.11.2009