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Summaries of EU Legislation

A common framework for airport charges

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A common framework for airport charges

The aim of this directive is to establish a common framework regulating airport charges at European Union airports.


Directive 2009/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on airport charges.


This directive is aimed at creating a common framework for the regulation of airport charges * at European Union (EU) airports. It shall apply to any airport:

  • located in a territory subject to the Treaty whose annual commercial traffic is over five million passenger movements;
  • with the highest number of passengers in the EU country.

This directive shall not apply to charges:

  • collected for the remuneration of en route and terminal air navigation services in accordance with Regulation 1794/2006/EC;
  • collected for the remuneration of groundhandling services referred to in the Annex to Directive 96/67/EC;
  • levied for the funding of assistance to disabled passengers and passengers with reduced mobility referred to in Regulation 1107/2006/EC.


Airport charges must not discriminate between airport users *. However, charges may be modulated for issues of:

  • general and public interest;
  • environmental interest.

Airport network

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 shall 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 shall 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 shall 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.

Transparency requirements

Airport users or representatives of airport users shall be informed about the components serving as a basis for determining the level of charges. The information shall include:

  • 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 shall be required to 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.

New infrastructure

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 shall be required to establish an independent supervisory authority. It shall ensure the correct application of the measures taken to comply with this directive. The authority may delegate tasks to other independent supervisory authorities.


This directive meets the need to harmonise the system for setting airport charges.

Key terms of the Act

  • Airport 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.
  • Airport user: any natural or legal person responsible for the carriage of passengers, mail and/or freight by air to or from the airport concerned.
  • 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.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2009/12/EC



OJ L 70 of 14.3.2009

Last updated: 25.02.2010