A common framework for airport charges
Directive 2009/12/EC on airport charges
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?
This directive aims to create a common system for regulating airport charges* at EU airports.
The rules apply to any airport:
- located in a territory subject to the EU treaties whose annual commercial traffic is over five million passenger movements;
- with the highest number of passengers in an EU country.
They do not apply to charges:
- collected for the remuneration of en route* and terminal air navigation services in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/317;
- collected for the remuneration of groundhandling services referred to in the Annex to Directive 96/67/EC (see summary);
- levied for the funding of assistance to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility referred to in Regulation 1107/2006/EC (see summary).
Airport charges must not discriminate between airport users*. However, charges may be modulated for issues of:
general and public interest;
A managing body* of an airport network may decide to introduce a charging system to cover the entire network in a transparent manner.
Common charging systems
An airport managing body must be authorised to apply a common and transparent charging system for airports serving the same urban community or conurbation.
Consultation and remedy
Airport users or the representatives of associations of users must be consulted regularly with respect to:
- the operation of the system of airport charges;
- the level of airport charges and, as appropriate;
- the quality of service provided.
Consultation must take place at least once a year, unless:
- agreed otherwise in the latest consultation;
- an agreement between the airport managing body and the airport users states otherwise;
- the EU country decides to request more frequent consultations.
Airport users or representatives of airport users must be kept informed about the components serving as a basis for determining the level of charges. This information includes:
- the various services and infrastructure provided in return for the airport charge levied;
- the methodology used for setting airport charges;
- the revenue of the different charges;
- any financing from public authorities of the facilities and services which airport charges relate to;
- forecasts of the situation at the airport as regards charges.
Airport users must submit the following information to the airport managing body before every consultation:
- forecasts as regards traffic and use of their fleet;
- their development projects and their requirements at the airport concerned.
Airport managing bodies shall consult with airport users before plans for new infrastructure projects are finalised.
Differentiation of services
The difference in quality and scope of services decided by an airport managing body may result in a variation in airport charges.
Independent supervisory authority
EU countries must establish an independent supervisory authority.
This authority must ensure the measures taken to comply with this directive are correctly applied. It may delegate tasks to other independent supervisory authorities.
FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?
It has applied since 15 March 2009 and had to become law in the EU countries by 15 March 2011.
For more information, see:
Airport charge: a levy collected for the benefit of the airport managing body and paid by the airport users for the use of facilities and services, which are exclusively provided by the airport managing body and which are related to landing, take-off, lighting and parking of aircraft, and processing of passengers and freight.
En route: the part of flight from the end of the take-off and initial climb phase to the commencement of the approach and landing phase.
Airport users: any natural or legal person responsible for the carriage of passengers, mail and/or freight by air to or from the airport concerned.
Managing body: a body which, in conjunction with other activities or not as the case may be, has as its objective under national laws, regulations or contracts the administration and management of the airport or airport network infrastructures and the coordination and control of the activities of the different operators present in the airports or airport network concerned.
Directive 2009/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on airport charges (OJ L 70, 14.3.2009, pp. 11-16)
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/317 of 11 February 2019 laying down a performance and charging scheme in the single European sky and repealing Implementing Regulations (EU) No 390/2013 and (EU) No 391/2013 (OJ L 56, 25.2.2019, pp. 1-67)
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 (OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, pp. 1-9)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Council Directive 96/67/EC of 15 October 1996 on access to the groundhandling market at Community airports (OJ L 272, 25.10.1996, pp. 36-45)
See consolidated version.
last update 11.05.2020