A4E seeks to lower the cost of the EU’s airports by ensuring that monopoly airports are effectively regulated, that passengers receive the full benefit of the non-aeronautical revenues which they generate at airports, and that charges are cost-related, efficient and non-discriminatory.
Airport charges account for about 20% of airlines’ total cost. Over the last ten years, airport charges have risen by more than three quarters, in direct contrast to a 20% decrease in air fares delivered by European airlines over the same period. There must be strict regulatory oversight to ensure that monopoly airports do not abuse their dominant position by over-investing or over-charging airport users. Strong, robust, independent and effective economic regulation is needed to replicate competitive market outcomes where airports enjoy significant market power, in order to protect users and consumers against airports’ abuses of their dominant position. Indeed, airport charges should be based on efficient costs and investments that deliver the services that passengers and airlines require, and are willing to pay for. Hence it is vital that the necessity and the cost of airport infrastructure is justified, transparent, and agreed between airports and airport users.