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Document 52013AP0116

P7_TA(2013)0116 Groundhandling services at European Union airports ***I European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 April 2013 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on groundhandling services at Union airports and repealing Council Directive 96/67/EC (COM(2011)0824 — C7-0457/2011 — 2011/0397(COD)) P7_TC1-COD(2011)0397 Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 16 April 2013 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on groundhandling services at Union airports and repealing Council Directive 96/67/ECText with EEA relevance

OJ C 45, 5.2.2016, p. 120–154 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

5.2.2016   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

C 45/120


P7_TA(2013)0116

Groundhandling services at European Union airports ***I

European Parliament legislative resolution of 16 April 2013 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on groundhandling services at Union airports and repealing Council Directive 96/67/EC (COM(2011)0824 — C7-0457/2011 — 2011/0397(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

(2016/C 045/30)

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0824),

having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 100(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0457/2011),

having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

having regard to the reasoned opinion submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 28 March 2012 (1),

having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 19 July 2012 (2),

having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A7-0364/2012),

1.

Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.

Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.

Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


(1)  OJ C 181, 21.6.2012, p. 173.

(2)  OJ C 277, 13.9.2012, p. 111.


P7_TC1-COD(2011)0397

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 16 April 2013 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on groundhandling services at Union airports and repealing Council Directive 96/67/EC

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 100(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions (2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (3),

Whereas:

(1)

Council Directive 96/67/EC of 15 October 1996 on access to the groundhandling market at Community airports (4) provides for a gradual opening of the groundhandling market.

(2)

Airports and groundhandling services are essential to the proper functioning and security of air transport and are a key function in the aviation chain. Groundhandling services cover all ground-based aviation-related activities carried out for individual airlines at airports. [Am. 244]

(3)

The Declaration adopted at the Bruges Aviation Summit in October 2010 recognised the need to reform Union rules to foster the competitiveness of each link in the aviation transport chain (such as airports, carriers, and other service providers).

(4)

The White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area (5) identifies the improvement of market access and the provision of quality services at airports as vital for the quality of life of citizens and as an essential action to achieve the Single European Transport Area.

(5)

Further gradual opening of the groundhandling market and the introduction of harmonised requirements for the provision of groundhandling services are likely to enhance the efficiency and overall quality of groundhandling services for airlines as well as for passengers and freights forwarders. This should improve the quality of overall airport operations.

(6)

In view of the new need for minimum, harmonised quality standards at airports to implement the gate-to-gate approach for the realisation of the Single European Sky and the need for further harmonisation to fully exploit the benefits of the gradual opening of the groundhandling market in terms of increased quality and efficiency of groundhandling services, Directive 96/67/EC should be replaced by a Regulation.

(7)

Free access to the groundhandling market is consistent with the efficient operation of Union airports, provided relevant safeguards are put in place. Free access to the groundhandling market should be introduced gradually and should be adapted to the requirements of the sector.

(7a)

As free market access is the norm in Union transport policy, the complete liberalisation of the groundhandling market should be the ultimate goal. [Am. 245]

(8)

Gradual opening of the market under Directive 96/67/EC has already produced positive results in terms of improved efficiency and quality. It is therefore appropriate to proceed with further gradual opening.

(9)

Every airport user should be allowed to self-handle. At the same time it is necessary to maintain a clear and restrictive definition of self-handling in order to avoid abuse and negative impacts on the third-party handling market.

(10)

For certain categories of groundhandling services, access to the market may come up against safety, security, capacity and space availability constraints. It should therefore be possible to limit the number of authorised suppliers of such groundhandling services. It should be possible for the extent of such limitations to differ between individual terminals within the same airport, provided that they are applied in a non-discriminatory manner, do not distort competition and comply with this Regulation, and that the minimum number of suppliers at each terminal remains the same. [Am. 246]

(11)

In certain cases the safety, security, capacity and space availability constraints can be such as to justify further temporary restrictions on market access or on self-handling, provided that those restrictions are relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory. In such cases, Member States should be entitled to request exemptions from the provisions of this Regulation. [Am. 247]

(12)

The purpose of those exemptions should be to enable airport authorities to overcome or at least reduce those constraints. Such exemptions should be approved by the Commission.

(13)

If effective and fair competition is to be maintained where the number of suppliers of groundhandling services is limited, those suppliers need to be chosen in accordance with an open, transparent and non-discriminatory tender procedure. The details of such a procedure should be further specified.

(13a)

All suppliers of groundhandling services, self-handling airport users and subcontractors operating at an airport should apply the relevant representative collective agreements and national laws of the Member State concerned so as to allow fair competition between suppliers of groundhandling services based on quality and efficiency. [Am. 248]

(14)

Airport users Given the necessity to take into account airport users’ needs, they should be consulted in the selection of suppliers of groundhandling services, since they have a major interest in the quality and price of groundhandling services. [Am. 249]

(15)

It is therefore necessary to arrange for the representation of airport users and their consultation, in particular when authorised suppliers of groundhandling services are selected.

(16)

In the context of the selection of suppliers of groundhandling services at an airport, it should be possible in certain circumstances and under specific conditions to extend a public-service obligation to other airports in the same geographical region of the Member State concerned.

(17)

Ambiguity exists Clarification should be provided as to whether Member States may require the takeover of staff upon a change of provider for groundhandling services to which access is limited under Article 6(2) . Discontinuity of staff can have a detrimental effect on the quality of groundhandling services. It is therefore appropriate to clarify the rules on the takeover of staff beyond the application of Council Directive 2001/23/EC of 12 March 2001 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings, businesses or parts of undertakings or businesses (6) in such a way as to enable Member States to ensure adequate employment and working conditions. [Am. 250]

(17a)

Enhancing the quality of groundhandling services should be the ultimate aim. This should be done without increasing the administrative burden for groundhandling companies. It is therefore important that companies should be allowed to decide on their own general business practices and their human resources policy. [Am. 251]

(18)

In order to ensure the proper and smooth functioning of air transport operations at airports, guarantee safety and security on airport premises, protect the environment and ensure compliance with the applicable social provisions and rules, the provision of groundhandling services should be subject to appropriate approval. Given that systems for approving the provision of groundhandling services currently exist in the majority of Member States but differ widely, a harmonised approval system should be introduced.

(19)

To make sure that all service suppliers and self-handling airport users meet at least the safety and security requirements and possess sufficient economic solidity, good repute, sufficient insurance coverage, and proper knowledge of groundhandling operations and the airport environment, and in order to establish a level playing field, the granting of approval should be subject to minimum requirements . Those minimum requirements should not in any way have a restrictive impact on the further opening of the market . [Am. 252 and 253]

(20)

Open access to the centralised infrastructure of the airport and a clear legal framework for the definition of the centralised infrastructure are essential for the efficient provision of groundhandling services. It should be possible, however, to collect a fee for the centralised infrastructure.

(21)

The fees should be non-discriminatory and the calculation thereof should be transparent. The fees should not exceed what is necessary in order to cover the costs of the provision of the centralised infrastructure, including a reasonable return on assets.

(22)

The managing body of the airport and/or any other managing body of the centralised infrastructure of that airport should be obliged regularly to consult airport users on the definition of the infrastructure and the level of fees. [Am. 254]

(23)

The managing body of the airport may also supply groundhandling services itself. As at the same time, through its decision, the managing body of the airport may exercise considerable influence on competition between suppliers of groundhandling services, airports should be required to keep strictly separate accounts for their groundhandling services in a legal entity separate from the legal entity for on the one hand and their infrastructure management on the other . [Am. 255]

(24)

In order to enable airports to fulfil their infrastructure management functions, to guarantee safety and security on airport premises and to ensure the resilience of groundhandling services also in crisis situations, the managing body of the airport should be responsible for the proper coordination of groundhandling activities at the airport. The managing body of the airport should report on the coordination of airport groundhandling activities to the Performance Review Body of Eurocontrol with a view to a consolidated optimisation.

(24a)

Where the managing body of an airport supplies groundhandling services itself, or where it directly or indirectly controls a groundhandling services undertaking, due coordination of the groundhandling services should be monitored by the independent supervisory authority in order to guarantee equal treatment. [Am. 256]

(25)

The managing body of the airport, a public authority or any other body controlling the airport should also have the power to lay down the necessary rules for the proper functioning of the airport infrastructure.

(26)

It is necessary to define obligatory minimum quality standards to be met by suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users in order to ensure the overall quality of service and establish a level playing field among suppliers.

(26a)

In order to guarantee an adequate level of safety at all airports, requirements in respect of minimum safety standards for groundhandling services should comply with the principles on safety and management systems laid down by the relevant Union law. [Am. 257]

(27)

With a view to enhancing performance across the whole aviation chain and implementing the ‘gate-to-gate’ approach, the suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users should report to the Commission about their performance.

(28)

In a labour-intensive sector such as groundhandling, continuous staff development and training have a strong impact on service quality. Minimum training requirements should therefore be set to ensure the quality and the safety of operations . A competent Union institution, acting in cooperation with the competent authorities of the Member States, airport operators and social partners, should set ambitious minimum standards to ensure the highest quality for education and training of employees in the groundhandling sector. Those standards should be regularly updated and developed in order to contribute to operations in terms of reliability, resilience, safety and security, and to create a level playing field among operators. As long as the required standards are not met at the airport concerned, the accreditation of the service providers concerned should be suspended, withdrawn or withheld until the appropriate standard has once again been attained. Additional airport-specific training should be provided, of a duration of not less than five days. [Am. 258]

(29)

Subcontracting increases flexibility for suppliers of groundhandling services. Nevertheless, subcontracting and cascade subcontracting may also result in capacity constraints and have negative effects on safety and security. Subcontracting should therefore be limited and the rules governing subcontracting should be clarified.

(30)

The rights recognised by this Regulation should apply to third-country suppliers of groundhandling services and third-country self-handling airport users only on the basis of strict reciprocity. Where there is no such reciprocity, the Commission should be enabled to decide that a Member State or Member States should suspend those rights with regard to such suppliers or users.

(31)

Member States should retain the power to ensure an adequate level of social protection for that the staff of undertaking undertakings providing groundhandling services enjoy an adequate level of social protection, as well as decent working conditions, also in the case of subcontracting and in the context of service contracts. If competent authorities of a Member State find that gaps in protection exist or that rules are being infringed, it should be possible for the accreditation of the service providers concerned to be suspended, withdrawn or withheld, until the appropriate standard has once again been attained . [Am. 259]

(31a)

Since disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility often experience unjustified discrimination in the handling of their problems and complaints and in the remedies provided, this Regulation should be applied in conformity with Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air  (7) . [Am. 260]

(31b)

Even though the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air are laid down by Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, this Regulation encourages increased convergence between, on the one hand, the providers of assistance to disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility and, on the other hand, the handlers of aid equipment for travellers, including medical devices. [Am. 261]

(31c)

In view of the progress that has been made in the area of passenger rights and in order to prevent discrimination against passengers with disabilities, the objectives of and solutions proposed by Directive 2001/85/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 November 2001 relating to special provisions for vehicles used for the carriage of passengers comprising more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat  (8) should be taken into account. [Am. 262]

(32)

In order to ensure that harmonised insurance requirements apply for suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of insurance requirements for suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users. In order to ensure that harmonised and properly updated obligations apply concerning the minimum quality standards for groundhandling services and concerning the reporting obligations for suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty should be delegated to the Commission in respect of specifications for minimum quality standards for groundhandling services in respect of specifications for the content and dissemination of reporting obligations for suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level and involving the specific Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee set up under Commission Decision 98/500/EC of 20 May 1998 on the establishment of Sectoral Dialogue Committees promoting the dialogue between the social partners at European level  (9). The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and the Council [Am. 263].

(32a)

Given the specific conditions that apply to groundhandling services in respect of wheelchairs and other medical and assistance equipment used by disabled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility, and the extent to which such equipment is vital for the independence of such passengers, the insurance policies taken out by suppliers of groundhandling services should guarantee full compensation for losses incurred as a result of damage to or loss of such equipment. [Am. 264]

(32b)

Given the importance of safety, professional qualifications and training, compliance with quality standards and, in particular, the operational performance of groundhandling staff, Member States should provide for the imposition of penalties for infringement of this Regulation. The penalties thus provided for should be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. [Am. 265]

(32c)

The documentation supplied by airlines to passengers should clearly indicate the supplier of groundhandling services for the air route concerned. [Am. 266]

(32d)

Suppliers of groundhandling services have a duty to provide information points for passengers whose baggage is lost or missing. [Am. 267]

(33)

The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and Council. [Am. 263]

(34)

In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (10).

(35)

The advisory procedure should be used for adopting implementing decisions on exemptions to the degree of opening of the market for groundhandling services for third parties and for self-handling airlines, given that those acts are of only limited scope.

(36)

The advisory procedure should also be used for adopting implementing decisions on the extension by Member States of a public-service obligation to an island airport, given that those acts are of only limited scope.

(37)

The examination procedure should be used for adopting implementing decisions on the total or partial suspension of the right of access to the groundhandling market within a Member States' territory for suppliers of groundhandling services and airport users from a third country.

(38)

Since the objective of this Regulation, namely more homogenous application of Union legislation with regard to groundhandling services, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States due to the international character of air transport, and can therefore be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.

(39)

The Ministerial Statement on Gibraltar Airport, agreed in Cordoba on 18 September 2006 during the first Ministerial meeting of the Forum of Dialogue on Gibraltar, will replace the Joint Declaration on Gibraltar Airport made in London on 2 December 1987, and full compliance with it will be deemed to constitute compliance with the 1987 declaration.

(40)

Directive 96/67/EC should therefore be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Chapter I

Scope and definitions

Article 1

Scope

This Regulation shall apply to any airport located in the territory of a Member State subject to the Treaty and open to commercial traffic.

The application of this Regulation to the airport of Gibraltar is without prejudice to the respective legal positions of the Kingdom of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with regard to the dispute over sovereignty over the territory in which that airport is situated.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions shall apply:

(a)

‘airport’ means any area of land especially adapted for the landing, taking-off and manoeuvres of aircraft, including the ancillary installations which those operations may involve for the requirements of aircraft traffic and services, including the installations needed to assist commercial air services;

(b)

‘managing body of the airport’ means a body which, whether or not in conjunction with other activities, has as its objective under national law or regulation the administration and management of the airport infrastructures and the coordination and control of the activities of the different operators present in the airport concerned;

(c)

‘airport user’ means any natural or legal person responsible for the carriage of passengers, mail and/or freight by air to or from the airport concerned;

(d)

‘groundhandling’ means the services provided to airport users at airports as set out in the Annex I ;

(e)

‘self-handling’ means a situation where an airport user directly provides for itself one or more categories of groundhandling services and concludes no contract of any description with a third party for the provision of such services. For the purposes of this Regulation, among themselves airport users are not to be deemed to be third parties where:

one holds a majority holding in the other; or

a single body has a majority holding in each;

for integrators, self-handling shall extend to groundhandling services supplied for all aircraft dedicated to its transport network, whether the aircraft in question are owned or leased and whether operated by an air carrier owned by the integrator or by a third party. For the purposes of this section, the undertaking providing the groundhandling services need not be an airport user but must be affiliated to the integrator and must meet the minimum quality standards.

(f)

‘supplier of groundhandling services’ means any natural or legal person supplying third parties with one or more categories of groundhandling services;

(fa)

‘integrator’ means an undertaking offering a door-to-door contractually governed freight transport service, guaranteeing the transportation of freight and/or mail from origin to final destination and seamlessly integrating transportation, groundhandling, consignment sorting and delivery services;

(fb)

‘collective agreements’, if provided for by the legislation of a Member State, shall be deemed to be representative where they are substantively applicable to the groundhandling service and where their territorial applicability within a Member State extends to the airport at which the groundhandling services supplier operates;

(g)

‘centralised infrastructure’ means specific airport installations and/or facilities at an airport which cannot, for technical, environmental, cost or capacity reasons, be divided or duplicated and the availability of which is essential and necessary for the performance of subsequent groundhandling services at an airport ;

(h)

‘subcontracting’ means the conclusion of a contract by a supplier of groundhandling services, in its capacity as the main contractor, or exceptionally by a self-handling airport user, with a third party termed ‘the subcontractor’, under which the subcontractor is required to perform one or more categories (or subcategories) of groundhandling services;

(ha)

‘subcontractor’ means an approved handler in accordance with Articles 16 and 17;

(i)

‘approval’ means an approval granted by the competent authority to an undertaking to provide groundhandling services as stated in the approval;

(j)

‘independent supervisory authority’ means the authority referred to in Article 11 of Directive 2009/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on airport charges (11). [Am. 268]

Chapter II

General preliminary requirements

Article 3

Managing body of the airport

1.   Where an airport is managed and operated not by a single body but by several separate bodies, each of those bodies shall, for the purposes of this Regulation, be considered part of the managing body of the airport.

2.   Where only a single managing body of the airport is set up for several airports, each of those airports shall be considered separately for the purposes of this Regulation.

Article 4

Airport Users' Committee

1.   Each of the airports concerned At the airport users' request, every airport with annual traffic of not less than two million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years shall establish a committee (the ‘Airport Users' Committee’) comprised of representatives of airport users or of organisations representing airport users as well as representatives of the airports and the staff . Involvement of the social partners in the Airport Users' Committee shall be compulsory . [Am. 269]

2.   All airport users shall have the right to participate in the work of the Airport Users' Committee, or, if they so wish, to be represented on it by an organisation designated for that purpose. However, if they are represented by such an organisation, that organisation shall not provide groundhandling services at the airport concerned.

3.   The Airport Users' Committee shall establish in writing its own rules of procedure, including its own voting rules.

The voting rules shall include specific provisions on how to avoid conflicts of interest in the Airport Users' Committee resulting from the presence of airport users that provide groundhandling services at the airport concerned. In particular, where the Airport Users' Committee is consulted in the course of the selection procedure laid down in Articles 8 and 9, airport users applying for an authorisation to provide one or more groundhandling services to third parties shall not be entitled to vote.

4.   The weighting of votes within the Airport Users' Committee shall be such that:

(a)

irrespective of the annual volume of traffic carried by a single airport user at an airport, its voting power shall not exceed 49 % of the totality of the votes;

(b)

the voting power of self-handling airport users shall not exceed one third of the totality of the votes.

5.   The managing body of the airport shall provide the secretariat of the Airport Users' Committee.

If the managing body of the airport refuses to do so, or if the Airport Users' Committee does not accept this, the managing body of the airport shall designate another entity, which the Airport Users' Committee shall be required to accept. The secretariat of the Airport Users' Committee shall maintain the list of airport users or their representatives that are part of the Airport Users' Committee.

6.   The secretariat of the Airport Users' Committee shall keep minutes of each meeting of the Airport Users' Committee. Those minutes shall faithfully reflect the views expressed and the results of voting during the meeting.

6a.     Where this Regulation provides for the Airport Users' Committee to be consulted, the managing body of the airport, or where relevant the tendering authority, shall notify the Airport Users' Committee to that effect and provide it with the proposed decision and all necessary information no later than six weeks before a final decision is taken. In the event of disagreement between the managing body of the airport or, as the case may be, the tendering authority, and the Airport Users' Committee, and without prejudice to Article 41, the managing body of the airport or, as the case may be, the tendering authority shall provide a statement of reasons for its final decision, taking into account the views expressed by the Airport Users' Committee. [Am. 270]

Chapter III

Opening of the groundhandling market

Section 1

Self-handling

Article 5

Self-handling

All airport users shall be free to self-handle.

Section 2

Groundhandling for third parties

Article 6

Groundhandling for third parties

1.   Suppliers of groundhandling services which are established within the Union or in a State which is a member of the European Free Trade Association shall have free access to the market for the provision of groundhandling services to third parties at any airport whose annual traffic has been not less than over two million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years.

2.   For airports as referred to in paragraph 1, Member States may limit the number of suppliers authorised to provide the following categories of groundhandling services:

(a)

baggage handling;

(b)

ramp handling;

(c)

fuel and oil handling;

(d)

freight and mail handling as regards the physical handling of freight and mail, whether incoming, outgoing or being transferred, between the air terminal and the aircraft.

However, Member States shall not limit this number to fewer than two suppliers for each category of groundhandling services or, for in the case of airports whose annual traffic has been not less than 5 million more than 15 million passengers or 100 000 200 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years, to fewer than three suppliers for each category of groundhandling services.

2a.     The extent of the limitations referred to in paragraph 2 may differ between individual terminals within the same airport provided that they are applied in a non-discriminatory manner, do not distort competition and comply with this Regulation, and that the minimum number of suppliers at each terminal remains the same.

3.   At airports where the number of suppliers is limited to two or more suppliers in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article, or points (a) and (c) of Article 14(1), at least one of the authorised suppliers shall not be directly or indirectly controlled by:

(a)

the managing body of the airport,

(b)

any airport user who has carried more than 25 % of the passengers or freight recorded at the airport during the year preceding that in which those suppliers were selected,

(c)

a body directly or indirectly controlling, or controlled by, the managing body of the airport as referred to in point (a) or any such user referred to in point (b).

Control shall be constituted by rights, contracts or any other means, which either separately or in combination, and having regard to the considerations of fact or law involved, confer the possibility of exercising decisive influence on the supplier as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

4.   Where the number of authorised suppliers is restricted pursuant to paragraph 2, Member States may shall not prevent an airport user, whatever part of the airport is allocated to him, from having, in respect of each category of groundhandling service subject to limitation, an effective choice, under the conditions laid down in paragraphs 2 and 3, between at least:

two suppliers of groundhandling services, or

three suppliers of groundhandling services for airports whose annual traffic has been not less than 5 million 15 million passengers or 100 000 200 000 of freight for at least the previous three years.

5.   Where an airport reaches one of the freight traffic thresholds laid down in this Article without reaching the corresponding passenger movement threshold, this Regulation Article shall not apply to categories of groundhandling services reserved exclusively for passengers or to infrastructure used exclusively for handling passengers .

Where an airport reaches one of the passenger traffic thresholds laid down in this Article without reaching the corresponding freight movement threshold, this Article shall not apply to categories of groundhandling services reserved exclusively for freight or to infrastructure reserved exclusively for handling freight.

6.   Any airport whose annual traffic has been not less than two million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least three consecutive years and whose annual traffic subsequently falls below the threshold of two million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight shall maintain its market open to third-party handling suppliers during at least the first three years following the year when it fell below the threshold.

7.   Any airport whose annual traffic has been for three consecutive years not less than 5 million 15 million passenger movements or 100 000 200 000 tonnes of freight and whose annual traffic falls below the threshold of 5 million 15 million passenger movements or 100 000 200 000 tonnes of freight shall maintain its market open to third-party handling suppliers during at least the first three years following the year when it fell below the threshold. [Am. 271]

Article 7

Selection of suppliers

1.   Suppliers authorised to provide groundhandling services at an airport where their number is limited under Article 6 or Article 14 shall be selected according to a transparent, open and non-discriminatory tender procedure. The tendering authority shall be empowered to require that suppliers of groundhandling services be obliged to offer one or more bundled categories of the groundhandling services referred to in Article 6(2). The managing body of the airport shall be authorised to make the corresponding application for bundling to the tendering authority. [Am. 272]

2.   The tendering authority shall be

(a)

the managing body of the airport, provided it:

does not provide similar groundhandling services; and

has no direct or indirect control over any undertaking which provides such services; and

has no involvement in any such undertaking;

(b)

in all other cases, a competent authority independent of the managing body of the airport and with no direct or indirect business links with the airport’s activities. [Am. 273]

3.   The Airport Users' Committee and the managing body of the airport, if it is not the tendering authority, shall not have access to the applicants' submissions at any stage of the selection procedure. The At the request of the Airport Users’ Committee or of the managing body of the airport shall not have access to, if it is not the tendering authority, the tendering authority shall provide a summary of the applicants' submissions at any stage of the selection procedure, if is not the tendering authority and shall ensure that that summary contains no confidential information . [Am. 274]

4.   After notified informing the Commission, and subject to Union rules on State aid, the Member State concerned may include among the tender specifications a public service obligation to be met by suppliers of groundhandling services in respect of airports serving peripheral or developing regions which are part of its territory, where suppliers are not willing to provide groundhandling services without public support (i.e. exclusive rights or compensation payments) but where such airports are of vital importance as regards accessibility for the Member State concerned. This provision is without prejudice to the EU State Aid rules. [Am. 275]

5.   The invitation to tender shall be launched and published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Official Journal of the European Union shall create an appropriate heading for the groundhandling services tender procedure. [Am. 276]

6.   The selection of the suppliers by the tendering authority shall be done in two stages:

(a)

a qualification procedure to examine the suitability of the applicants; and

(b)

an award procedure to select the authorised supplier(s).

6a.     If an invitation to tender does not elicit a response from the requisite number of suppliers of groundhandling services referred to in Article 6(2), the competent authority shall issue a new invitation to tender within 48 months of the expiry of the previous one. [Am. 277]

Article 8

Qualification procedure

1.   In the qualification procedure the tendering authority shall verify that the applicants meet a number of minimum criteria. The tendering authority shall establish those minimum criteria after consulting the Airport Users' Committee and the managing body of the airport, if the latter is different from the tendering authority.

2.   The minimum criteria shall include the following:

(a)

the applicant has a valid approval issued in accordance with Chapter IV;

(b)

the applicant demonstrates its ability and undertakes in writing to apply the relevant provisions and rules at the airport, including the applicable labour laws, applicable collective agreements, rules of conduct and quality requirements. The applicant and the subcontractors shall also undertake to apply the respective representative collective agreements. [Am. 278]

3.   The tendering authority shall short-list the applicants meeting the criteria of the qualification procedure.

Article 9

Award procedure

1.    The managing body of the airport shall draw up the tender documents as the basis for the award procedure, indicating clearly the minimum standards required at the airport, the representative flight schedule and the traffic forecast for the period for which the tender is organised. In the award procedure the tendering authority shall select a supplier from among the short-listed applicants and award the authorisation to that supplier after consulting the Airport Users' Committee and the managing body of the airport, if the latter is different from the tendering authority.

2.   The selection of the supplier for the award of the authorisation shall be based on a comparison of the applicants' submissions against a list of award criteria. The award criteria shall be relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory. The tendering authority shall establish the award criteria after consulting in agreement with the Airport Users' Committee and the managing body of the airport, if the latter is different from the tendering authority.

2a.     Applicants shall submit a detailed list of all the specific tasks that are, or may be, subject to subcontracting and which are not linked to the main activity.

3.   The award criteria shall include the following:

(a)

consistency and plausibility of the business plan as assessed for the first three years on the basis of model costs calculations;

(b)

level of quality of operations as assessed on the basis of a representative flight schedule including, where relevant, efficient use of staff and equipment, last acceptance of baggage and cargo, delivery times for baggage and cargo and maximum turnaround times;

(c)

adequateness of material resources in terms of the availability of equipment and environmental friendliness, fulfilment of relevant environmental requirements and good working order of equipment;

(d)

adequateness of human resources in terms of workers' experience, and adequateness of training/qualification programmes and decent employment and working conditions, including in the context of a transfer of staff in accordance with Article 12, and a commitment to apply the respective representative collective agreement ;

(e)

quality of information and communication technology;

(f)

quality of organisational planning;

(g)

environmental performance successful completion of a recognised safety audit to ensure proper compliance with safety and security requirements .

4.   The relative weighting of the award criteria shall appear in the invitation to tender and the relevant documents. A range of points with an appropriate maximum spread shall be applied to each award criterion. The tendering authority may set a minimum number of points that a successful applicant has to reach in order to meet certain specific award criteria. The setting of a minimum number of points shall be non-discriminatory and shall be clearly stated in the invitation to tender and the relevant documents. The tendering authority may not eliminate any of the award criteria, add others or subdivide those initially laid down in the invitation to tender.

5.   The authorisation to provide groundhandling services at the airport concerned shall be awarded to the applicant achieving the highest number of points while also obtaining any minimum number of points required for certain award criteria.

6.   Airport users that apply to provide third-party handling or which operate their own self-handling shall not be consulted in the award procedure.

7.   The tendering authority shall ensure that the award decision and the reasons for that decision are made public. [Am. 279]

Article 10

Selection period and termination of activity

1.   Suppliers of groundhandling services shall be authorised for a minimum period of seven years and a maximum period of ten years except in the case of exemptions for the opening of self-handling and third-party groundhandling as provided for in Article 14(1). The exact period for which the suppliers are authorised and the date on which operations are to start shall be clearly indicated in the invitation to tender.

2.   A supplier of groundhandling services shall begin to provide services within one month from the start date indicated in the invitation to tender. The tendering authority may, in duly justified cases, at the request of the supplier of groundhandling services and after consulting the Airport Users' Committee, prolong that period for a maximum of six five months. After expiry of this period, If, after six months from the start date indicated in the invitation to tender, the supplier has not started its activities and cannot demonstrate its willingness to do so, the tendering authority may decide that the authorisation will cease to be valid. In such cases, Member States may impose financial penalties on the supplier and instead grant authorisation to a supplier ranked second in terms of the number of points under Article 9(5). [Am. 280]

3.   The tendering authority shall anticipate the end of the authorisation period and shall ensure that any supplier selected after a new invitation to tender is authorised to start its operations the day following the last day of the period of authorisation of the previously selected supplier(s).

4.   Where a supplier of groundhandling services ceases its activity before the end of the period for which it was authorised, it shall be replaced on the basis of the selection procedure described in Articles 7, 8 and 9 and in this Article. Any supplier ceasing its activity shall inform the relevant tendering authority of its intention to cease activity sufficiently in advance and at least six months in advance before it leaves the airport. Financial penalties may be imposed on the supplier if it does not inform the tendering authority sufficiently at least six months in advance, unless the supplier can demonstrate force majeure. [Am. 281]

5.   Where a supplier ceases its activity before the end of the period for which it was authorised and does not leave sufficient time to the tendering authority to select a new supplier before it leaves the airport, with the result that there is a temporary monopoly for certain groundhandling services at this airport, the Member State concerned shall authorise a supplier of groundhandling services, for a limited period of time not exceeding ten months, to provide groundhandling services at that airport without having recourse to the selection procedure laid down in Articles 7, 8 and 9 and in this Article.

If the Member State does not succeed in finding a supplier of groundhandling services for that limited period of time, the Member State shall regulate the prices of those groundhandling services for which a temporary monopoly exists until a further supplier starts to provide those groundhandling services at the airport.

6.   The tendering authority shall inform the Airport Users' Committee and, if applicable, the managing body of the airport of decisions taken under Articles 7, 8 and 9 as well as under this Article.

7.   Articles 7, 8 and 9 as well as the provisions of this Article shall not apply to the award of public contracts and concessions which are governed by different provisions of Union law.

Article 11

The managing body of the airport as supplier of groundhandling services

1.   Where the number of suppliers of groundhandling services is limited in accordance with Article 6, the managing body of the airport may itself provide groundhandling services without being subject to the selection procedure laid down in Articles 7 to 10. Similarly, it may, without following that procedure, authorise an undertaking to provide groundhandling services at the airport concerned:

(a)

if it controls that undertaking directly or indirectly;

(b)

if the undertaking controls it directly or indirectly;

(ba)

if the undertaking satisfies the criteria set out in Chapter IV. [Am. 282]

2.   Where a managing body of the airport supplying groundhandling services in accordance with paragraph 1 no longer meets the conditions of that paragraph, that supplier may continue to provide groundhandling services for a period of five three years without being subject to the selection procedure laid down in Articles 7 to 10. At the end of that five three -year period, the supplier shall inform the relevant tendering authority sufficiently in advance and at least six months before the expiry of the five-year period. Financial penalties may be imposed on the supplier if it does not inform the tendering authority sufficiently in advance unless the supplier can demonstrate force majeure. If the supplier ceases its activity before the end of the five three -year period, Article 10(4) and (5) shall apply. [Am. 283]

Article 12

Safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfer of staff for services subject to market access restrictions [Am. 284]

1.   This Article applies only to groundhandling services for which the Member State concerned has limited the number of suppliers in accordance with Article 6 or Article 14. Member States shall examine in detail, against the background of this Regulation, whether a restriction of competition is indicated for further sectors. [Am. 285]

2.   Where, following the selection procedure laid down in Articles 7 to 10, a supplier of groundhandling services mentioned in paragraph 1 loses its authorisation to provide those services, or where a supplier of groundhandling service ceases to provide those services to an airport user, or where a self-handling airport user decides to cease self-handling, Member States may shall require supplier(s) of groundhandling services or self-handling airport users which subsequently provide those services to grant staff previously hired to provide those services the rights to which they would have been entitled if there had been a transfer within the meaning of Directive 2001/23/EC. The second sentence of Article 4(1) of Directive 2001/23/EC shall not apply to the cases referred to in the first sentence of this paragraph. Dismissal on economic, technical or organisational grounds shall not be permitted. [Am. 286]

2a    . The rights referred to in paragraph 2 shall include the application of collective agreements of general validity. [Am. 287]

3.   Member States shall limit the requirement in paragraph 2 to the employees of the previous supplier , including self-handling airport users, who are involved in the provision of groundhandling services that the previous supplier stops providing or for which the previous supplier lost authorisation, and who voluntarily accept to be taken on by the new supplier(s) or self-handling airport user(s) . The costs of a redundancy plan for departing staff shall be borne by airlines in proportion to their traffic share handled by the previous supplier. [Am. 288].

4.   Member States shall limit the requirement in paragraph (2) so that it is to be proportionate to the volume of activity effectively transferred to the other supplier(s). [Am. 289]

5.   Where a Member State imposes a requirement as referred to in paragraph (2), Tender documents for the selection procedure laid down in Articles 7 to 10 shall list the staff concerned and give the relevant details of employees' contractual rights and the conditions under which employees are deemed to be linked to the services in question. Staff and union representatives shall have access to those lists. [Am. 290]

6.   Where a supplier of groundhandling services stops providing to an airport user groundhandling services which constitute a significant part of the groundhandling activities of this supplier in cases not covered by paragraph (2), or where a self-handling airport user decides to stop self-handling, Member States may require the supplier(s) of groundhandling services or self-handling airport user which subsequently provide these groundhandling services to grant staff previously hired to provide these services the rights to which they would have been entitled if there had been a transfer within the meaning of Council Directive 2001/23/EC. [Am. 291]

7.   Member States shall limit the requirement in paragraph (6) to the employees of the previous supplier who are involved in the provision of groundhandling services that the previous supplier stops providing, and who voluntarily accept to be taken on by the new supplier(s) or self-handling airport user. [Am. 292]

8.   Member States shall limit the requirement in paragraph (6) to the employees of the self-handling airport user who are involved in the provision of groundhandling services for which the self-handling airport user decides to stop self-handling, and who voluntarily accept to be taken on by the new supplier(s) or self-handling airport user. [Am. 293]

9.   Member States shall limit the requirement in paragraph (6) so that it is to be proportionate to the volume of activity effectively transferred to the other supplier or self-handling airport user. [Am. 294]

10.   Member States may entrust management and labour at the appropriate level with the task of defining, through negotiated agreement, the practical arrangements for the implementation of this Article.

10a.     Member States shall ensure that wage dumping is prevented, not only as applied to the permanent groundhandling employees but also in the event of a transfer of staff, in order to guarantee adequate social standards and to improve the quality of groundhandling services. [Am. 295]

10b.     The competent authorities of the Member States shall ensure that there is adequate social protection for the staff recruited to provide those services. [Am. 296]

10c.     As a cushion against any harmful effects of liberalisation in the groundhandling sector, binding minimum service quality standards shall be defined and enforced by airport managing authorities in the interests of safe, reliable and efficient operations. [Am. 297]

11.   Members State shall inform the Commission of any measures taken in accordance with this Article.

Article 13

Island airports

For the selection of suppliers of groundhandling services at an airport as provided for in Articles 7 to 10, a Member State may extend a public service obligation to other airports in that Member State, provided that:

(a)

those airports are located on islands or remote mainland locations in the same geographical region; and [Am. 298]

(b)

such airports each have a traffic volume of no less than 100 000 passenger movements per year; and

(c)

such extension is approved by the Commission.

The decision on approving the extension constitutes an implementing act which shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 43(2). This provision is without prejudice to the Union rules on State aid.

In the case of airports located on islands, where it is not in the economic interests of undertakings or airlines to supply the services referred to in Article 6(2), airport managing bodies themselves may assume responsibility for supplying essential services in order to guarantee the smooth operation of the airport facilities. [Am. 299]

Section 3

Exemptions for self-handling and third-party groundhandling

Article 14

Exemptions

1.   Where specific constraints of available space or capacity at an airport, arising in particular from congestion and area utilisation rate, make it is so constrained that it is impossible to open up the market and/or implement self-handling to the degree provided for in this Regulation, the Member State concerned may decide:

(a)

to limit to no fewer than two the number of suppliers for one or more categories of groundhandling services other than those referred to in Article 6(2) in all or part of the airport, whereby Article 6(3) shall apply;

(b)

to reserve to a single supplier one or more of the categories of groundhandling services referred to in Article 6(2) for airports whose annual traffic is not less than two million passengers or 50 000 tonnes of freight;

(c)

to limit to one or two suppliers one or more of the categories of groundhandling services referred to in Article 6(2) for airports whose annual traffic is not less than 5 million more than 15 million passengers or 100 000 200 000 tonnes of freight, whereby in the case of a limitation to two suppliers Article 6(3) shall apply;

(d)

to reserve self-handling as referred to in Article 5 to a limited number of airport users, provided that those users are chosen on the basis of relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria.

2.   All exemptions under paragraph 1 shall:

(a)

specify the category or categories of groundhandling services for which the exemption is granted and the specific constraints of available space or capacity which justify it;

(b)

be accompanied by a plan of appropriate measures to overcome the constraints.

3.   Exemptions shall not:

(a)

give rise to distortions of competition between suppliers of groundhandling services and/or self-handling airport users;

(b)

extend further than necessary.

4.   Member States shall notify the Commission, at least six months before they enter into force, of any exemptions they intend to grant pursuant to paragraph 1 and of the grounds which justify them. That justification shall include proof that the suppliers of groundhandling services in the airports concerned:

(a)

meet adequately minimum quality standards in accordance with Article 32;

(b)

are managed in a transparent way and receive no financial cross-subsidisation in accordance with Article 29;

(c)

ensure adequate working and wage conditions based on collective agreements or national laws or other social standards of the Member State concerned.

5.   Upon receipt, the Commission shall publish a summary of the notified exemption decisions in the Official Journal of the European Union and shall invite interested parties to submit comments.

6.   The Commission shall closely examine exemption decisions notified by Member States. To that end, the Commission shall make a detailed analysis of the situation and a study of the appropriate measures notified by the Member State concerned, in order to check that the alleged constraints exist and that it is impossible to open up the market and/or implement self-handling to the degree provided for in this Regulation.

7.   Further to that examination and after consulting the Member State concerned, the Commission may approve the Member State's decision or oppose it if it deems that the alleged constraints have not been proven to exist or that they are not severe enough to justify the exemption. After consulting the Member State, concerned the Commission may also require that Member State to amend the extent of the exemption or restrict it to those parts of an airport where the alleged constraints have been proven to exist.

8.   The decision of the Commission shall be taken no later than six months after complete notification by the Member State concerned and shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

9.   The implementing decisions referred to in paragraphs 7 and 8 of this Article shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 43(2).

10.   Exemptions granted by Member States pursuant to paragraph 1 may not exceed a duration of three years except for exemptions granted under point (b) or point (c) of paragraph 1. Not later than six months before the end of that period the Member State concerned shall take a new decision on each request for exemption, which shall also be subject to the provisions of this Article.

11.   Exemptions granted by Member States under point (b) or point (c) of paragraph 1 may not exceed a duration of two years. However, a Member State may, in accordance with the considerations referred to in paragraph 1, request that that period be extended by a single period of two years. The Commission shall decide on such a request. The implementing decision shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 43(2). [Am. 360]

Article 15

Consultations of the suppliers of groundhandling services and of airport users

The managing body of the airport shall organise a procedure for consultation on the application of this Regulation between itself, the Airport Users' Committee and the undertakings providing groundhandling services. That consultation shall cover, inter alia, the price of those groundhandling services for which an exemption has been granted pursuant to points (b) and (c) of Article 14(1) and the organisation of the provision of those services. A consultation meeting shall be held at least once a year. The managing body of the airport shall make a record of that meeting which shall be sent to the Commission at its request.

Chapter IV

Approval procedures

Article 16

Requirement to obtain appropriate approval recognised in all Member States

1.   At airports whose annual traffic has been not less than 2 million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least three consecutive years, No undertaking shall be permitted to provide groundhandling services, whether as a supplier of groundhandling services, as a sub-contractor or as a self-handling user, unless it has been granted the appropriate approval , where Member States make groundhandling activity conditional upon obtaining an approval of a competent authority (‘approving authority’) independent of any airport managing body . An undertaking meeting the requirements of this Chapter shall be entitled to receive an approval.

2.   Each Member State shall designate a competent authority (‘ an approving authority’) or, after informing the Commission, cooperate with the competent authority from another Member State, independent of any managing body of the airport to be in charge of issuing approvals to provide groundhandling services.

3.   The approving authority shall not grant approvals or maintain them in force where any of the requirements of this Chapter are not complied with. [Am. 300]

Article 17

Conditions for granting an approval

1.    Without prejudice to Article 16, an undertaking shall be granted an approval by the approving authority of a Member State provided that:

(a)

it is established and registered in a Member State;

(b)

its company structure allows the approving authority to implement the provisions of this Chapter;

(c)

it complies with the financial conditions laid down in Article 18;

(d)

it complies with the proof of good repute specified in Article 19 criteria for staff working conditions and training/qualifications programme in accordance with point (b) of Article 8(2) and point (d) of Article 9 and respects labour and social provisions in accordance with Article 12 ;

(e)

it complies with the qualification of staff requirement laid down in Article 20;

(f)

it complies with the requirements concerning an operations manual laid down in Article 21;

(g)

it complies with the insurance requirements laid down in Article 22.

2.   Paragraph (1) (a), (c), and (d) shall not apply to self-handling airport users which do not provide groundhandling services to third parties. Airport users that have been issued an approval for self-handling shall not be authorised to provide third-party handling on the basis of this approval.

3.   An undertaking applying for an approval or having obtained an approval shall respect the national provisions concerning social protection, environmental protection and airport security of all Member States in which it operates.

Article 18

Financial conditions for granting an approval

1.   An undertaking applying for an approval shall not be in insolvency or in similar proceedings or bankruptcy.

2.   The approving authority shall closely assess whether an undertaking applying for an approval can demonstrate that:

(a)

it can meet at any time its actual and potential obligations established under realistic assumptions, for a period of 24 months from the start of operations; and

(b)

it can meet its fixed and operational costs incurred by operations according to its business plan and established under realistic assumptions, for a period of three months from the start of operations, without taking into account any income from its operations.

3.   For the purposes of the assessment referred to in paragraph 1, each applicant shall submit its audited accounts for the two previous financial years.

4.   For the purposes of the assessment referred to in paragraph 2, each applicant shall submit a business plan for, at least, the first three years of operation. The business plan shall also detail the applicant's financial links with any other commercial activities in which the applicant is engaged either directly or through related undertakings. The applicant shall also provide all relevant information, including in particular the following data:

(a)

a projected balance sheet, including profit-and-loss account, for the following three years;

(b)

projected cash-flow statements and liquidity plans for the first three years of operation;

(c)

details of the financing of equipment purchase/leasing including, in the case of leasing, the terms and conditions of each contract, if relevant.

Article 19

Proof of good repute

1.   An undertaking applying for an approval shall provide a proof of having paid its taxes and social security contributions in the most recent year, for the Member States where it carries out an activity or, in the case where it carries out no activity in the Union, for its country of origin.

2.   The undertaking shall also provide proof that the persons who will continuously and effectively manage the operations of the undertaking are of good repute or that they have not been declared bankrupt. The approving authority shall accept as sufficient evidence in respect of nationals of Member States the production of documents issued by the competent authorities in the Member State where the undertaking is established and registered or the Member State where the person has his/her permanent residence, and showing that those requirements are met.

3.   Where the Member State where the undertaking is established and registered or the Member State where the person has his/her permanent residence does not issue the documents referred to in paragraph (2), such documents shall be replaced by a declaration on oath or — in Member States where there is no provision for declaration on oath — by a solemn declaration made by the person concerned before a competent judicial or administrative authority or, where appropriate, a notary or qualified professional body of the Member State where the undertaking is established and registered or the Member State where the person has his/her permanent residence. Such authority, notary or qualified professional body shall issue a certificate attesting the authenticity of the declaration on oath or solemn declaration. [Am. 301]

Article 20

Qualification of staff

An undertaking applying for an approval shall demonstrate that its employees have the qualifications, professional experience and length of service necessary for the performance of the activity in relation to which it applies or applied . Individual requirements concerning qualifications, professional experience and length of service shall be set and justified for each airport by the competent authorities of the Member State concerned, in cooperation with the airport operator and the social partners concerned. The competent authorities of the Member States shall monitor the application of those requirements. Moreover, general training standards for groundhandling staff shall be established at Union level by a competent Union institution, the competent authorities of the Member States, airport operators and social partners. When binding Union minimum standards are developed for education and training, Member States shall implement and monitor them in order to ensure the highest possible safety standards throughout the Union. [Am. 302]

Article 21

Manual of operations

An undertaking applying for an approval shall provide a manual of operations for the relevant activities which shall contain the following information:

(a)

organisation chart, management personnel, description of responsibilities and duties, accountability;

(b)

capacity to operate safely in an airport context;

(c)

equipment policy;

(d)

qualification requirements for personnel as well as corresponding training requirements and training plan;

(da)

procedures to prevent work-related accidents and injuries; [Am. 303]

(e)

safety and quality management procedures;

(f)

standard handling procedures, including coordination with airport users and airport managing bodies, coordination of activities and specific handling procedures related to specific customers;

(g)

emergency response policy;

(h)

security management procedures.

Article 22

Insurance requirements

1.   Suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users in the Union shall be insured in respect of their groundhandling-specific liability for damage caused on the territory of a Member State and for which a right to compensation exists.

1a.     The insurance referred to in paragraph 1 shall guarantee full compensation for losses incurred as a result of damage to, or loss of, medical or assistance equipment used by disabled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility. [Am. 304]

2.   The Commission shall be empowered to specify further details concerning the insurance requirements and minimum amounts by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 42. [Am. 305]

Article 23

Validity of an approval

1.   An approval shall be valid for a period of five 10  years. [Am. 306]

1a.     The approval shall expire or be suspended in the event of failure to comply with Articles 34 and 40. Failure to comply with Articles 34 and 40 during the approval procedure shall lead to approval being withheld. [Am. 307]

2.   An approval shall be valid for the categories and/or subcategories specified in the approval.

3.   The supplier of groundhandling services shall at all times be able upon request to demonstrate to the competent approving authority that it meets all the requirements of this Chapter.

4.   The approving authority shall monitor compliance with the requirements of this Chapter. It shall in any case review compliance with those requirements in the following cases:

(a)

when a potential problem is suspected; or

(b)

at the request of an approving authority of another Member State; or

(c)

at the request of the Commission.

5.   The approval shall be resubmitted for a new approval when a groundhandling undertaking:

(a)

has not started operations within twelve months of the granting of an approval; or

(b)

has ceased its operations for more than twelve months.

6.   A groundhandling undertaking shall notify the approving authority:

(a)

in advance of any substantial change in the scale of its activities;

(b)

in the event that an insolvency procedure is initiated in respect of the undertaking.

Article 24

Revocation of approval

1.   The approving authority may at any time revoke the approval if the supplier of groundhandling services or the self-handling airport user does not meet, for reasons of its own doing, the criteria laid down in this Chapter. The grounds for revocation shall be communicated to the supplier or the self-handling airport user concerned and to the approving authorities in the other Member States.

2.   The approving authority shall revoke the approval if the supplier of groundhandling services knowingly or recklessly furnishes the approving authority with false information on an important point.

2a.     Failure to comply with Articles 34 and 40 shall automatically lead to the withdrawal, suspension or withholding of the approval. [Am. 308]

Article 25

Decisions on approvals

1.   The approving authority shall take a decision on an application as soon as possible, and not later than two months after all the necessary information has been submitted, taking into account all available evidence. The decision shall be communicated to the applicant and to the approving authorities in the other Member States. A refusal shall indicate the reasons therefor.

1a.     The procedure for granting approvals shall be transparent and non-discriminatory and may not, in practice, go beyond the provisions of this Regulation in reducing market access or the freedom to self-handle. [Am. 309]

2.   The approval may be withheld only if the supplier of groundhandling services or self-handling airport user does not meet, for reasons of his own doing, the criteria referred to in this Chapter and comply with Articles 34 and 40 . [Am. 310]

3.   The procedures for granting and revoking approvals shall be made public by the approving authority, which shall inform the Commission thereof.

Article 26

Mutual recognition of approvals

An approval issued in a Member State in accordance with this Chapter shall permit an operator to provide groundhandling services, whether as a supplier of groundhandling services or as a self-handling airport user, in all Member States subject to the conditions set in the approval and without prejudice to limitations on market access imposed pursuant to Articles 6 and 14.

Chapter V

Obligation for managing bodies of the airport and of the centralised infrastructure

Article 27

Access to centralised infrastructures and installations

1.   This Article shall apply only to airports whose annual traffic has been not less than two million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years.

2.   The managing body of the airport shall publish a list of the centralised infrastructures at the airport where this has not yet been done . [Am. 311]

3.   The management of the centralised infrastructures may be reserved for the managing body of the airport or to another body, which may make it compulsory for suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users to use those infrastructures. Such infrastructures shall be managed in a transparent, objective and non-discriminatory manner.

4.   The managing body of the airport, or where appropriate the public authority or any other body which controls the managing body of the airport, shall decide on an objective basis, and after consulting the Airport Users' Committee and the undertakings providing groundhandling services at the airport, on infrastructures to be centralised. The managing body of the airport, or where appropriate the public authority or any other body which controls the managing body of the airport, shall ensure that any infrastructure or installation falling under the definition of ‘centralised infrastructure’ shall be designated as such and that the requirements set out in this Chapter are complied with as regards that infrastructure or installation.

5.   Where the Airport Users' Committee disagrees with the decision of the managing body of the airport to centralise, or not to centralise, an infrastructure, or with the scope of centralisation, it may ask the independent supervisory authority , the corresponding competent bodies of the Member State concerned or the authorities established in accordance with Articles 6(5) and 11(2) of Directive 2009/12/EC to decide examine the justification for the decision taken by the managing body of the airport, in order to see whether the infrastructure concerned is to be centralised or not and to what extent the justification is valid . [Am. 312]

6.   Suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users shall have open access to airport infrastructures, centralised infrastructures and airport installations to the extent necessary to enable them to carry out their activities. The managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure or, where appropriate, the public authority or any other body which controls the managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure may make such access subject to conditions that are relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory.

7.   The space available for groundhandling at an airport shall be divided among the various suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users, including new entrants, to the extent necessary for the exercise of their rights and to allow effective and fair competition, on the basis of relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory rules and criteria. Where necessary, the managing body of the airport may recover and redistribute that space. [Am. 313]

8.   If a decision on the scope of the centralised infrastructure is brought before the independent supervisory authority in accordance with paragraph 5 of this Article, the procedure laid down in Article 6 (3), (4) or (5) of Directive 2009/12/EC shall apply. [Am. 314]

Article 28

Fees for centralised infrastructures and airport installations [Am. 315]

1.   This Article shall apply only to airports whose annual traffic has been not less than two million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight at least the previous three years.

2.   Where the use of the centralised infrastructures or airport installations is subject to a fee, the managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure shall ensure that the level of the fee is set on the basis of relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria.

3.   The managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure shall be entitled to recover its costs and to make a reasonable return on assets from the fees charged. The fees shall constitute consideration for infrastructure or for a service. [Am. 316]

4.   Any fees as referred to in paragraph 1 shall be set at the level of the individual airport concerned after consulting the Airport Users' Committee and the undertakings providing groundhandling services at the airport. The managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure, shall annually provide the Airport Users' Committee and the undertakings providing groundhandling services at the airport with information on the components serving as the basis for determining the fees , provided that all the abovementioned parties undertake to treat such information as strictly confidential at all times . The information shall include at least the following: [Am. 317]

(a)

a list of the various services and infrastructure provided in return for the fees;

(b)

the methodology used for setting the fees;

(c)

the overall cost structure with regard to the facilities and services to which the fees relate;

(d)

the revenue from the different fees and the total cost of the services covered by them and the return on assets; [Am. 318]

(e)

any financing from public authorities for the facilities and services to which the fee relates;

(ea)

forecasts of the situation at the airport as regards the groundhandling fees, traffic growth and proposed investments in infrastructure; [Am. 319]

(f)

the predicted outcome of any major proposed investments in terms of their effects on airport capacity.

5.   The managing body of the airport shall publish the levels of fees, including a detailed list of the services provided, so as to demonstrate that any fees collected for the provision of centralised infrastructures, space for groundhandling and essential services related to the provision of groundhandling services are exclusively used to recover all or part of the related costs. Where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure shall communicate the levels of fees, including a detailed list of the services provided, to the managing body of the airport. [Am. 320]

5a.     Where the use of airport installations other than those defined as centralised infrastructure gives rise to the collection of a fee, the level of that fee shall be determined in accordance with relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria.

Member States shall remain free to allow the airport managing body of an airport network as defined in Directive 2009/12/EC to apply a common and transparent charging system. [Am. 321]

6.   Where the Airport Users' Committee disagrees with a fee set by the managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure, it may ask the independent supervisory authority , the corresponding competent bodies of the Member State concerned or the authorities established in accordance with Articles 6(5) and 11(2) of Directive 2009/12/EC to decide on the level of the fee. [Am. 322]

7.   If a decision disagreement on the levels of fees is brought before the independent supervisory authority in accordance with paragraph (6) of this Article, the procedure laid down in Article 6 of Directive 2009/12/EC shall apply 6, the decision on the level of fees shall not take effect until the independent supervisory authority has examined the matter. If the independent supervisory authority agrees with the decision of the infrastructure's managing body on the level of groundhandling fees, then the fees may be recouped from the time the initial decision was made . [Am. 323]

Article 29

Legal separation

1.   At airports whose annual traffic volume has been not less than 2 million five million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years, the managing body of the airport or the managing body of the centralised infrastructure shall, if it provides groundhandling services for third parties, establish a separate legal entity for the provision of these guarantee a strict separation of accounts between its groundhandling activities and any other activity it may undertake .

This entity The accounts of the entities providing groundhandling services shall be independent in terms of its legal form, its organisation and its decision-making separate, in particular from those of any entity concerned with the management of airport infrastructure where the managing body of the airport provides groundhandling services to third parties, and from any entity concerned with centralised infrastructure where the managing body of the centralised infrastructure provides groundhandling services to third parties.

2.   At airports whose annual traffic volume has been not less than 2 million five million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years, the persons responsible for the management of the airport infrastructure or the management of the centralised infrastructure may not participate directly or indirectly in the company structures of the independent entity providing groundhandling services.

3.   The legal entity The entities proving groundhandling services as referred to in paragraph 1 may not receive any financial cross-subsidisation from aeronautical activities related to the management of airport infrastructure in cases where the managing body of the airport provides groundhandling services, or from aeronautical activities related to the management of centralised infrastructure, in cases where the managing body of the centralised infrastructure provides groundhandling services which would allow the legal entity providing groundhandling services to reduce the prices it charges for its groundhandling services to third parties.

4.   For the purpose of this Article ‘aeronautical activities’ of a managing body of the airport means any activity that the managing body of the airport carries out at its airport which is related to the provision of services or infrastructures to airport users, suppliers of groundhandling services in their activity of air transport, or air passengers using the airport, such as the levying of airport charges, allocation of infrastructures and installations, or security and safety measures at the airport. Non-aeronautical activities include real-estate activities or any activities in a sector other than air transport.

5.   At the close of each financial year an independent auditor shall verify the situation examine the separate accounts and publicly declare confirm that such no financial cross-subsidisation from aeronautical activities within the meaning of paragraph 3 has not occurred. Where the legal entity providing groundhandling services receives cross-subsidisation from non-aeronautical activities, the entity managing the airport infrastructure or the entity managing the centralised infrastructure shall demonstrate that this is compliant with paragraph 3. [Am. 324]

Chapter VI

Coordination of activities and quality

Article 30

Role of the managing body of the airport for the coordination of groundhandling services

1.   The managing body of the airport shall be in charge of the proper coordination of groundhandling activities at its airport. As ground coordinator, the managing body of the airport shall in particular ensure that the operations of suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users and the provision of centralised infrastructure comply with the airport rules of conduct as defined in Article 31.

The managing body of the airport shall be empowered to enforce those rules of conduct. The measures adopted shall be transparent, proportionate and non-discriminatory.

If the managing body of the airport provides groundhandling services or directly or indirectly controls an undertaking which does so, the independent supervisory authority shall monitor the proper coordination of groundhandling services and the enforcement of the rules of conduct by the managing body.

2.   In addition, at airports whose annual traffic has been not less than five million passengers or 100 000 tonnes of freight for at least three consecutive years:

(a)

the operations of suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users and the provision of centralised infrastructure shall comply with minimum quality standards referred to in Article 32;

(b)

the managing body of the airport shall ensure that a proper contingency plan is drawn up for the operations of suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users and that those operations are coordinated , where possible, through an airport Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM) and through a proper contingency plan.

3.   The provisions of this Article are without prejudice to the Union's competition rules.

4.   The managing body of the airport shall provide an annual report on the application of the measures provided for in paragraph 2 to the Performance Review Body of Eurocontrol. The Performance Review Body shall provide a consolidated report to the Commission.

5.   The managing body of the airport shall report to the national approving authority any problem with the suppliers of groundhandling services or self-handling airport users or the provision of centralised infrastructure at its airport. [Am. 325]

Article 30a

Presence of a contact person representing each air carrier

Each air carrier shall have a contact person, or be legally represented, at airports whose annual traffic volume is more than two million passengers. That contact person, who may be a groundhandling assistant, shall have the authority to enter into financial, operational and legal commitments on behalf of the air carrier at the airport concerned. [Am. 326]

Article 31

Rules of conduct

1.   For the purposes of this Article, ‘rules of conduct’ comprises any rules laid down for the proper functioning of the airport by the managing body of the airport, a public authority or any other body which controls the airport.

2.   The The Member State, the managing body of the airport, a public authority or any other body which controls the airport may , after consulting the Airport Users' Committee and the undertakings providing groundhandling services, lay down rules of conduct to ensure the proper functioning of the airport . [Am. 327]

3.   The rules of conduct shall comply with the following principles:

(a)

they shall be applied in a non-discriminatory manner to the various suppliers of groundhandling services and airport users;

(b)

they shall relate to the intended objective;

(c)

they may not, in practice, reduce market access or the freedom to self-handle to a degree below that provided for in this Regulation. In particular in the case of infringement of Article 34 and 40, however, market access or the freedom to self-handle shall automatically be restricted. Failure to comply with Article 34 and 40 shall automatically lead to the withdrawal, suspension or withholding of the licence. [Am. 328]

(ca)

The managing body of the airport, a competent authority or another body responsible for airport supervision shall be free to choose appropriate means and instruments for the imposition of penalties for infringements of the rules of conduct or failures to comply with instructions. Such appropriate means shall explicitly include contractual penalties. [Am. 329]

4.   A Member State may, where appropriate on On a proposal from the managing body of the airport , a Member State shall : [Am. 330]

(a)

impose a fine on, restrict or prohibit a supplier of groundhandling services or a self-handling airport user from supplying groundhandling services or self-handling if that supplier or user fails to comply with the rules of conduct . Member States shall take a decision pursuant to this paragraph within two months following receipt of a proposal from the airport's managing body ; [Am. 331]

(b)

require suppliers of groundhandling services at an airport to participate in a fair and non-discriminatory manner in carrying out the public-service obligations laid down in national laws or rules, including the obligation to ensure continuous service.

Article 32

Minimum quality standards

1.   For the purposes of this Article, ‘minimum quality standards’ means minimum quality level requirements for groundhandling services.

2.   At airports whose annual traffic has been not less than five million passenger movements or 100 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years, the managing body of the airport or, where appropriate, the public authority or any other body which controls the airport shall, after consulting the Airport Users' Committee, set minimum quality standards for the performance of groundhandling services and centralised infrastructure . The minimum quality standards set by the managing body shall be immediately notified to the Commission and communicated to the competent public authority which may, where appropriate, call for those standards to be revised.

Such standards shall be consistent with the safety rules, arrangements and management systems of the airport operator and of affected air operators as referred to in Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and Council of 20 February 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency  (12).

3.   Suppliers of groundhandling services and the managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure and self-handling airport users shall respect those minimum quality standards. In addition, airport users and suppliers of groundhandling services and the managing body of the airport or, where relevant, the managing body of the centralised infrastructure shall respect the minimum quality standards in the contractual relations existing between them .

4.   The minimum quality standards shall cover in particular the following fields: operational performance, staff training, adequate equipment, the provision of information and assistance to passengers, in particular as referred to in Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 (13) and (EC) No 1107/2006, CDM, safety, security, contingency measures and the environment compliance with environmental requirements .

5.   The minimum quality standards shall be fair, transparent, non-discriminatory and without prejudice to applicable Union legislation, including Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 and (EC) No 1107/2006. They shall be consistent, proportionate and relevant in relation to the quality of airport operations. In this regard, due account shall be taken of the quality of customs, airport security and immigrations procedures.

6.   The minimum quality standards shall comply with specifications set by the Commission. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt those specifications by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 42 laid down in Annex Ia .

7.   Prior to establishing these standards the airport managing body shall consult the Airport Users' Committee and the suppliers of groundhandling services. The competent authority of the Member State concerned shall either directly or upon notification by the managing body of the airport impose appropriate penalties where the minimum quality standards are not adequately met. This shall be done in accordance with the following procedure:

if suppliers of groundhandling services or self-handling airport users fail to meet the minimum quality standards, the managing body of the airport shall immediately inform them of the irregularities concerned and provide them with a list of the criteria that need to be met. It shall also inform the Airport Users' Committee and the competent authority of the Member State of the failure to meet those standards;

if, six months after that list of criteria is sent, the supplier of groundhandling services or self-handling airport user concerned does not fully meet the minimum quality standards, the managing body of the airport, after consulting the Airport Users’ Committee, may ask the Member State concerned to impose a fine on the supplier of groundhandling services or self-handling airport user, or to partly or fully prohibit it from providing services in the airport concerned or throughout the territory of the Member State concerned. The Commission and the public authority concerned shall be notified immediately of any action taken by a Member State in response to such a request from the managing body of an airport .

7a.     The managing body of the airport shall determine the type and scope of activities covered by each of the criteria for minimum quality standards at its airport. The managing body of the airport shall consult the Airport Users’ Committee on the definition and scope of, and the method for assessing conformity with, those standards. Before those standards are introduced, all providers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users shall receive training to ensure that they are able properly to assess compliance with the criteria for minimum quality standards.

7b.     At least once a year, the managing body of the airport shall notify the Airport Users’ Committee of the extent to which suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users are complying with the minimum quality standards in force.

7c.     Without prejudice to paragraphs 1 to 7, the airport management body shall focus on the question of safety when evaluating compliance by groundhandling services with minimum quality standards, and shall take suitable action in accordance with standard procedures if it considers that the safety of the airport is being compromised.

7d.     All the minimum quality standards, including quantitative criteria if they are applicable, shall be made available to the public. Before any update of or change to the minimum quality standards, the managing body of the airport shall consult the Airport Users’ Committee and the suppliers of groundhandling services operating at the airport. [Am. 332]

Article 33

Reporting obligations on the performance of groundhandling services

1.   At airports whose annual traffic has been not less than 5 million passenger movements or 100 000 tonnes of freight for at least three consecutive years, suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users shall report on their operational performance to the Commission.

2.   The Commission shall be empowered to adopt detailed specifications regarding the content and dissemination of reporting obligations by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 42. [Am.333]

Article 34

Training

1.   Suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users shall ensure that all their employees involved in the provision of groundhandling services, including managing staff and supervisors, regularly attend specific occupational and recurrent training , harmonised at European level, to enable them to perform the tasks assigned to them and to prevent accidents and injuries . A competent Union institution or body, in cooperation with the competent authorities in the Member States, airport operators and social partners, shall set ambitious and binding minimum standards to ensure the highest quality of education and training for employees in the groundhandling sector. Those standards shall be regularly updated and developed in order to contribute to the quality of operations in terms of reliability, resilience, safety and security, and to create a level playing field among operators. The competent authorities of the Member States shall monitor compliance with education and training standards, using appropriate means. Until the required standards are met at the respective airport, the accreditation of the service providers concerned shall be suspended, withdrawn or withheld. This procedure shall serve to maintain safety in European air traffic. Recurrent training may be ordered, at the expense of the supplier of groundhandling services concerned and self-handling airport users. [Am. 334]

2.   Every employee involved in the provision of groundhandling services shall regularly attend at least two days a theoretical and practical course of basic training as well as a course of training relevant for the tasks assigned to the employee. The competent authorities of the Member States, in cooperation with the airport operators and social partners concerned, shall determine details for additional airport-specific training, as well as the frequency and minimum duration of such training. The passing of a practical test and a theoretical test shall serve to demonstrate that the relevant skills and knowledge have been acquired. The training costs shall be borne in full by the employers. Every employee shall attend the relevant training when before taking up a new job or when a new task is assigned to the employee starting a newly assigned task . [Am. 335]

3.    The specific content of the tests and courses and their proper conduct shall be harmonised at European level and regulated and monitored by the competent authorities of the Member States. Where relevant for the activity of groundhandling services in question, training and tests shall cover at least: [Am. 336]

(a)

security, including security control, security of operations, security equipment and security threat management;

(b)

dangerous goods;

(c)

airside safety, including safety philosophy, safety regulations, hazards, human factors, airside markings and signage, emergency situations, foreign object damage (FOD) prevention, personal protection, accidents-incidents-near misses, and airside safety supervision;

(d)

airside driver training, including general responsibilities and procedures (reduced visibility procedures), vehicle equipment, airport rules, and layout of traffic and manoeuvring areas;

(e)

ground support equipment (GSE) operations and management, including GSE maintenance and GSE operations;

(f)

load control, including general weight and balance proficiency and awareness, aircraft structural load limitations, unit load devices, bulk hold loading, load sheet, balances tables/charts, loading instructions report, loading messages, and load control of dangerous goods;

(g)

functional training for passenger handling, with emphasis on passengers with special needs, in particular those with reduced mobility or with disabilities, including training on passenger boarding bridge training and passenger information and assistance in accordance with Regulations (EC) No 261/2004 and (EC) No 1107/2006; [Am. 337]

(h)

functional training for baggage handling;

(i)

aircraft handling and loading training;

(j)

aircraft ground movement, including aircraft ground movement operations, operation of equipment, equipment-aircraft connect and disconnect procedures, aircraft ground movement hand signals, aircraft marshalling, and aircraft ground movement assistance;

(k)

cargo and mail handling, including applicable prohibitions and restrictions on trade of goods;

(l)

aircraft turnaround coordination training;

(m)

environment, including control of spillages, discharge management and waste disposal;

(n)

emergency measures , first aid training and contingency management; [Am. 338]

(o)

reporting systems;

(p)

outsourcing quality control;

(pa)

measures to protect groundhandling staff against health hazards typically associated with their work. [Am. 339]

4.   Every supplier of groundhandling services and self-handling airport user shall report annually to the managing body of the airport on compliance with its training obligation.

Article 35

Subcontracting

1.   Without prejudice to paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, suppliers of groundhandling services may engage in subcontracting. Articles 34 and 40 shall apply in the same way to subcontractors. [Am. 340]

2.   Self-handling airport users may subcontract groundhandling services only where they are temporarily unable to perform self-handling due to force majeure. [Am. 341]

3.   Subcontractors may not subcontract groundhandling services.

4.   A supplier of groundhandling services as referred to in Article 11(1) may not subcontract groundhandling services save where it is temporarily unable to provide those groundhandling services due to force majeure.

5.   Suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users using one or more subcontractors a subcontractor for a category of service shall ensure that the subcontractors comply subcontractor complies with the obligations incumbent on suppliers of groundhandling services under this Regulation. [Am. 342]

5a.     Subcontracts shall be awarded only to operators that have demonstrated that they are qualified and reliable. [Am. 343]

5b.     Suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users using one or more subcontractors shall remain financially liable for the subcontracting. [Am. 344]

5c.     The contracting entity may restrict the number of subcontractors when this is required on the grounds of space or capacity. [Am. 345]

6.   Suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users using one or more subcontractors a subcontractor for a category of service shall inform the managing body of the airport of the name and activities of the subcontractors subcontractor concerned. [Am. 346]

7.   Where a supplier of groundhandling services applies for an authorisation to provide groundhandling services under the selection procedure laid down in Article 7, it shall indicate the number, activities and names of the subcontractors it intends to use.

Chapter VII

International relations

Article 36

Relations with third countries

1.    A Member State may wholly or partially suspend the obligations arising from this Regulation in respect of suppliers of groundhandling services and airport users from a third country as referred to in this paragraph, in accordance with Union law [Am. 348] and without prejudice to the international commitments of the Union, the Commission may, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 43 (3), decide that a Member State or Member States shall take measures, including the complete or partial suspension of the right of access to the groundhandling market within its territory in respect of suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users from that third country, with a view to remedying the discriminatory behaviour of the third country concerned, whenever it appears that a third country, with respect to access to the groundhandling or self-handling market: [Am. 347]

(a)

does not, de jure or de facto, grant suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users from a Member State treatment comparable to that granted by that Member State to suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users from that third country at its airports; or

(b)

de jure or de facto, grants suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users from a Member State less favourable treatment than that which it accords to its own suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users; or

(c)

grants suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users from other third countries more favourable treatment than that which it accords to suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users from a Member State.

2.   A supplier of groundhandling services or self-handling airport user from a third country shall be deemed to be a legal or natural person set up in accordance with the laws of that third country and having its registered office, central administration or principal place of business in the territory of that third country.

3.   The Union and/or the Member States shall ensure, with regard to market access rights in third countries, that no discrimination occurs between Union airport users providing third-party groundhandling services and other Union suppliers of groundhandling services.

Chapter VIII

Reporting and monitoring obligations

Article 37

Reporting obligations for the Member States

1.   Member States shall, before 1 July of each year, forward to the Commission the list of airports subject to at least one of the limitations on access to the groundhandling market laid down in Article 6(2) or Article 14.

2.   Member States shall, before 1 July of each year, provide the Commission with the list of suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users approved by the Member State in accordance with Chapter IV.

Article 38

Publication of lists of airports

By the end of each year, the Commission shall publish in the Official Journal of the European Union the following information:

(a)

list of Union airports whose annual traffic has been not less than five million passenger movements or 100 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years;

(b)

list of Union airports whose annual traffic has been not less than two million passenger movements or 50 000 tonnes of freight for at least the previous three years;

(c)

list of Union airports open to commercial traffic;

(d)

list of airports subject to limitations in accordance with Articles 6(2) or 14;

(e)

list of suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users approved in accordance with Chapter IV.

Article 39

Evaluation and information report

1.   The Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this Regulation not later than 5 three years after the date of application of this Regulation. The report shall in particular assess any significant the impact on the quality of groundhandling services as well as employment and working conditions. The report shall include examine the following set of indicators and criteria for a sample of airports: [Am. 349]

(a)

average number of suppliers of groundhandling services at Union airports, for the 11 categories of services;

(b)

number of self-handling airport users at each Union airport, for the 11 categories of services;

(c)

number of airports where the number of suppliers of groundhandling services is limited, and value of the limitation(s);

(d)

number of companies having an approval from a Member State and operating in another Member State;

(e)

opinion of stakeholders on the approval system (approval criteria, implementation issues, price , administrative process, etc.); [Am. 350]

(f)

number of suppliers of groundhandling services and self-handling airport users operating in the Union (total);

(g)

price and management system for centralised infrastructures at each airport;

(h)

market share of the managing body of the airport in the groundhandling business at each airport, for the 11 categories of services;

(i)

market share of airport users providing third-party handling at each airport, for all categories of services;

(j)

safety accidents and incidents involving groundhandling services; [Am. 351]

(k)

opinion of stakeholders on the quality of groundhandling services at airports in terms of staff competence, environment, security, and coordination of activities (CDM, contingency measures, training in the airport context, subcontracting);

(l)

minimum quality standards for groundhandling undertakings at each Union airport for the 11 categories of services listed in Annex I ; examination of the connection between delays caused by groundhandling services and minimum quality standards ; [Am. 352]

(m)

the state of training features and further training with reference to the fields listed in points (a) to (pa) of Article 34(3); examination of the connection between delays caused by groundhandling services and the state of training and further training ; [Am. 353]

(n)

transfer of staff and its impact on the protection of employees , particularly the number of staff transferred, and the number of staff who accepted voluntary redundancy, where there has been a change of supplier of groundhandling services; the development of wages in the case of transferred workers and the number of cases brought before employment tribunals in connection with transfers ; [Am. 354]

(o)

employment and working conditions in the groundhandling sector , particularly trends in wages and salaries by comparison with trends in the prices charged for handling and by comparison with changes in the productivity of groundhandling services at the airport as a whole and those supplied by individual groundhandling service providers . [Am. 355]

2.   The Commission and the Member States shall cooperate in the collection of information for the report referred to in paragraph 1.

3.   On the basis of that report the Commission , in close cooperation with the European Parliament, may decide whether a revision of this Regulation is necessary. [Am. 356]

Chapter IX

Social protection

Article 40

Social protection

Without prejudice to the application of this Regulation, and subject to the other provisions of Union law, Member States may take the necessary measures to ensure protection of rights of workers shall ensure legally that the staff of undertakings providing third party groundhandling or self-handling services enjoy an adequate level of social security, as well as decent working conditions, also in the case of subcontracting and in the context of service contracts. If competent authorities of a Member State find that the required standards are not met at a given airport, the accreditation of the service providers or self-handling services concerned shall be suspended, withdrawn or withheld, until the appropriate standard has once again been attained . [Am. 361]

Chapter X

Appeals against decisions or individual measures

Article 41

Rights of appeal

1.   Member States or, where appropriate, managing bodies of airports shall ensure that any party with a legitimate interest has the right to appeal against decisions or individual measures taken pursuant to Articles 6(2), 7 to 10, 13, 23, 24, 27, 28, 31 or 32.

2.   An appeal may be brought before a national court or a public authority other than the managing body of the airport and, where appropriate, independent of the public authority controlling the managing body of the airport. Where specified in this Regulation, the appeal shall be brought before the independent supervisory authority.

Chapter XI

Provisions on implementing and delegated powers

Article 42

Exercise of delegation

1.   The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

2.   The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Articles 22, 32, and 33 shall be conferred for an indeterminate period of time from the date of entry into force of this Regulation.

3.   The delegation of powers referred to in Articles 22, 32, and 33 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.   As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

5.   A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 22, Article 32 or Article 33 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed by either the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 43

Committee procedure

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply. Where the opinion of the committee is to be obtained by written procedure, that procedure shall be terminated without result when, within the time-limit for delivery of the opinion, the chair of the committee so decides or a simple majority of committee members so request.

3.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply. Where the opinion of the committee is to be obtained by written procedure, that procedure shall be terminated without result when, within the time-limit for delivery of the opinion, the chair of the committee so decides or a simple majority of committee members so request.

Chapter XII

Final provisions

Article 44

Repeal

Directive 96/67/EC is repealed with effect from the date of application of this Regulation.

References to the repealed Directive shall be construed as references to this Regulation.

Article 45

Transitional provisions

1.   Suppliers selected in accordance with Article 11 of Directive 96/67/EC before the date of application of this Regulation shall continue to be authorised under the conditions laid down in Directive 96/67/EC until the initially planned selection period has expired.

2.   At airports where only two suppliers were selected per category of services pursuant to Article 6(2) of Directive 96/67/EC and where a minimum of three suppliers are to be selected pursuant to Article 6(2) of this Regulation, a selection procedure in accordance with Articles 7 to 13 of this Regulation shall be organised so that the third supplier is selected and able to start operations not later then one year three years after the date of application of this Regulation. [Am. 357]

3.   Approvals issued in accordance with Article 14 of Directive 96/67/EC shall continue to be valid until their expiry, and in any event not longer than two years after the date of application of this Regulation.

4.   Where an undertaking is issued an approval in accordance with this Regulation, it shall within two months request the cancellation of any of its approvals issued in accordance with Article 14 of Directive 96/67/EC. However, if an approval issued in accordance with Article 14 of Directive 96/67/EC is due to expire within two months following the issuance of the new approval in accordance with this Regulation, the undertaking shall not be obliged to request the cancellation thereof.

5.   Article 26 of this Regulation does not apply to approvals issued in accordance with Article 14 of Directive 96/67/EC.

Article 46

Entry into force and application

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall apply from … (14)

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels,

For the European Parliament

The President

For the Council

The President


(1)  OJ C 181, 21.6.2012, p. 173.

(2)  OJ C 277, 13.9.2012, p. 111.

(3)  Position of the European Parliament of 16 April 2013.

(4)  OJ L 272, 25.10.1996, p. 36.

(5)  COM(2011)0144.

(6)  OJ L 82, 22.3.2001, p. 16.

(7)   OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 1.

(8)   OJ L 42, 13.2.2002, p. 1.

(9)   OJ L 225, 12.8.1998, p. 27.

(10)  OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.

(11)  OJ L 70, 14.3.2009, p. 11.

(12)   OJ L 79, 19.3.2008, p. 1.

(13)  Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights (OJ L 46, 17.2.2004, p. 1).

(14)  18 months 36 months after the date of adoption. [Am. 357]

ANNEX I

LIST OF CATEGORIES OF GROUNDHANDLING SERVICES

1.

Ground administration and supervision comprise the following subcategories:

1.1.

representation and liaison services with local authorities or any other entity, disbursements on behalf of the airport user and provision of office space for its representatives;

1.2.

load control, messaging and telecommunications;

1.3.

handling, storage and administration of unit load devices;

1.4.

any other supervision services before, during or after the flight and any other administrative service requested by the airport user.

2.

Passenger handling comprises the provision of any kind of information and assistance — including within the framework of the relevant Union legislation on passenger rights — to arriving, departing, transferring or transiting passengers, including checking tickets and travel documents, registering baggage , establishing that the baggage belongs to the passenger concerned, for example by means of electronic verification, and carrying it to the sorting area. [Am. 358]

3.

Baggage handling comprises handling baggage in the sorting area, sorting it, preparing it for departure, loading it onto and unloading it from the devices designed to move it from the aircraft to the sorting area and vice versa, and transporting baggage from the sorting area to the reclaim area.

4.

Freight and mail handling comprises the following subcategories:

4.1.

for freight: physical handling of export, transfer and import freight, handling of related documents and customs procedures and implementation of any security procedure agreed between the parties or required by the circumstances;

4.2.

for mail: physical handling of incoming and outgoing mail, handling of related documents and implementation of any security procedure agreed between the parties or required by the circumstances.

5.

Ramp handling comprises the following subcategories:

5.1.

marshalling the aircraft on the ground at arrival and departure;

5.2.

the provision of assistance for aircraft packing and provision of suitable devices;

5.3.

communication between the aircraft and the airside supplier of services;

5.4.

the loading and unloading of the aircraft, including the provision and operation of suitable means, as well as the transportation of crew and passengers between the aircraft and the terminal, and baggage transportation between the aircraft and the terminal , and the loading and unloading of wheelchairs and other mobility equipment and assistance devices for persons with reduced mobility ; [Am. 359]

5.5.

the provision and operation of appropriate units for engine starting;

5.6.

moving the aircraft at arrival and departure, as well as the provision and operation of suitable devices;

5.7.

the transportation, loading onto and unloading from the aircraft of food and beverages.

6.

Aircraft services comprise the following subcategories:

6.1.

the external and internal cleaning of the aircraft, and the toilet and water services;

6.2.

the cooling and heating of the cabin, the removal of snow and ice, and the de-icing of the aircraft;

6.3.

the rearrangement of the cabin with suitable cabin equipment and the storage of that equipment.

7.

Fuel and oil handling comprises the following subcategories:

7.1.

the organisation and execution of fuelling and defuelling operations, including the storage of fuel, also if adjacent to the airport, and control of the quality and quantity of fuel deliveries;

7.2.

the replenishing of oil and other fluids.

8.

Aircraft maintenance comprises the following subcategories:

8.1.

routine services performed before flight;

8.2.

non-routine services requested by the airport user;

8.3.

the provision and administration of spare parts and suitable equipment;

8.4.

requests for, or reservation of, a suitable parking and/or hangar space.

9.

Flight operations and crew administration comprise the following subcategories:

9.1.

preparation of the flight at the departure airport or at any other point;

9.2.

in-flight assistance, including re-dispatching if needed;

9.3.

post-flight activities;

9.4.

crew administration.

10.

Surface transportation comprises the following subcategories:

10.1.

the organisation and execution of crew, passenger, baggage, freight and mail transportation between different terminals of the same airport, but excluding such transportation between the aircraft and any other point within the perimeter of the same airport;

10.2.

any special transportation requested by the airport user.

11.

Catering services comprise the following subcategories:

11.1.

liaison with suppliers and administrative management;

11.2.

storage of food and beverages and of the equipment needed for their preparation;

11.3.

cleaning of that equipment;

11.4.

preparation and delivery of equipment and of bar and food supplies.

ANNEX Ia

LIST OF MINIMUM QUALITY STANDARDS

The minimum quality standards defined by the managing body of the airport or other body referred to in Article 32 comprise:

1.

Minimum quality standards for operational activities:

(a)

passenger handling:

maximum waiting time for baggage check-in. A maximum waiting time may be set for the airport as a whole or for an individual terminal;

maximum time for transferring passengers between connecting flights;

(b)

baggage handling:

maximum time for delivery of the first item of baggage. A maximum waiting time may be set for the airport as a whole or for an individual terminal;

maximum time for delivery of the last item of baggage. A maximum waiting time may be set for the airport as a whole or for an individual terminal;

maximum time for delivery of baggage during transfer between connecting flights A maximum waiting time may be set for the airport as a whole or for an individual terminal;

(c)

freight and mail handling:

maximum time for delivery of freight and mail. A maximum waiting time may be set for the airport as a whole or for an individual terminal;

maximum time for delivery of freight and mail during transfer between connecting flights A maximum waiting time may be set for the airport as a whole or for an individual terminal;

(d)

winter operations:

maximum time for de-icing an aircraft;

minimum stock of de-icing fluid;

(e)

ramp handling:

maximum time for passenger boarding/disembarkation;

(f)

ramps cleared of foreign object debris (FOD).

2.

Minimum quality standards for training:

regular participation in training courses organised by the airport concerning activities in restricted areas of the airport, security and safety, crisis management and environmental protection.

3.

Minimum quality standards for passenger information and assistance:

displaying real-time information concerning baggage delivery times;

displaying real-time information concerning delayed and cancelled flights;

minimum number of staff members able to provide information at the gate;

minimum number of staff members able to accept complaints or information about lost baggage.

4.

Minimum quality standards for equipment:

number and availability of assistance vehicles for passengers/baggage/aircraft.

5.

Minimum quality standards relating to the CDM system:

participation in the airport’s CDM system.

6.

Minimum quality standards relating to safety:

possession of a safety management system and an obligation to coordinate that system with the airport’s safety system;

accident and incident reporting.

7.

Minimum quality standards relating to security:

possession of a security management system in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council of 11 March 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security  (1) and an obligation to coordinate that system with the airport’s security system.

8.

Minimum quality standards relating to contingency planning:

possession of a contingency plan (including action to be taken in the event of heavy snowfall) and an obligation to coordinate that system with the airport’s plan.

9.

Environment:

reporting of incidents that affect the environment (e.g. leaks);

gases emitted by the vehicles used.

[Am. 332]

(1)   OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, p. 72.


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