EU Towards New Rules on Air-Carriers

aviationAll stakeholders and citizens with an interest in aviation are called to contribute to the recently commenced consultations that will culminate in the reform of the 2008 Regulation on air services. The revised Regulation is aimed on ensuring fair competition among EU air carriers and on protecting workers and consumers from unfair commercial practices by non-EU operators.
Notwithstanding that the need for modernisation of the existing framework is widely acknowledged, the aviation industry is concerned about the ever-increasing costs of compliance as well as the complexity of the overall regulations. The proposed reform is a source for concern for small and medium carriers in the EU, criticised for being overly centralised and disregarding local realities. Additionally, non-EU carriers have already vocalised their opposition to new hurdles erected on their access to the EU market.

The skepticism aroused by the initiative makes sure that the public consultations will be the terrain of intense clash of interests, while all stakeholders will struggle to strike a good deal.

EU to move ahead with aviation strategy

aviationIn 2015, the European Commission presented an ambitious Aviation Strategy for Europe. Several proposals are still under scrutiny in the EU’s legislative bodies. Others are placed on hold in the European Council.

Recently, the Commission presented its Open and Connected Aviation Package, which aims at safeguarding EU airlines on the international market, protecting international air carrier competition, and provide the EU with the opportunity to take actions against jeopardizing external factors. Besides the proposal for a Regulation on Safeguarding Competition in Air Transport, the package also includes interpretative guidelines for ownership and control of EU airlines as well as public services obligations.

With the recent package, aviation policies have again regained traction, and ought to be on the forefront of the political discussions in the coming months. Whereas the package aims at strengthening the EU aviation sector, both EU and non-EU companies will have to adapt to the changes in airport services, as well as the rights of travelers and workers.