10 MARCH 2014
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The European Business Aviation Association has welcomed the European Commission’s decision concerning operating aid for regional airports, which permits airports receiving less than 700,000 passengers per year, to continue having a range of funding options available to them. This affects a significant number of UK airports looking for vital assistance on upgrades including Exeter, Bournemouth, Doncaster Sheffield and Inverness, all of which fell just under the threshold in 2013.
This affects a significant number of UK airports looking for vital assistance on upgrades including Bournemouth, Doncaster, Exeter, Sheffield and Inverness, all of which fell just under the threshold in 2013.
“We believe the Commission has taken a sensible approach to a sensitive issue,” says Fabio Gamba, CEO of the Association. “This measure not only fine-tunes and provides greater clarity on the application of State aids, but it as well offers a level of flexibility for the small regional airports that are most dependent on these funds. As primary users of regional aerodromes, the business aviation sector has always argued that small regional airports hold intrinsic value for local communities, delivering, among other things, jobs and passenger spending power. This value must be recognised as part of the economic sustainability of small airports; not just self-generated income alone.”
The European Commission has abandoned earlier considerations for limiting operating aid to airports under 300,000 passengers a year. www.ebaa.org
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