New regulation on ground handling services at EU airports rejected
09 November 2012
On 6 November 2012, the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport & Tourism (TRAN) rejected a proposal from the European Commission (EC) for a new regulation on ground handling services at EU airports. As the voice for Europe’s airports, ACI EUROPE has for some time had concerns about what it terms a misplaced focus of the proposal on deregulation. ACI Europe states that “this development is the result of a dogmatic and unbalanced approach to further deregulating a market already liberalized since 1996. At the same time, it reflects the lack of sufficient attention to improving the quality and efficiency of airport operations in a meaningful and efficient manner. This should involve granting airport operators the ability to coordinate ground handling services – in particular through the setting and enforcement of minimum quality standards for such services.” ACI EUROPE considers that these are the real issues that need to be addressed to achieve the initially stated objectives of the proposal: to improve the quality and performance of ground operations at airports in the interest of the passenger. This would also promote greater alignment with the Single European Sky (SES). “This is a missed opportunity for European aviation,” according to ACI Europe.