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Published on : Wednesday, May 20, 2015
“The way in which we are regulated in Europe has major implications for our global competitiveness. European airlines are in need of a comprehensive and cohesive policy for European air transport which takes into account the specificities of our business and our markets, and which does not burden us with rules that aim to solve one problem but end up creating others”, says AEA’s CEO Athar Husain Khan.
“On the one hand European airlines are confronted with existing regulations that overburden the industry, are outdated, never underwent reality checks and resulted in unintended consequences for European airlines and consumers. However, on the other hand they are also calling for swift implementation of certain pending legislative proposals. Our industry needs a well-balanced, supportive and realistic legal framework and this initiative from the Commission is a step in the right direction.”
Airlines in Europe have to deal with a plethora of regulations related to flight safety, security, flight operations, ownership & control, slots, ground & air traffic infrastructure, environment and consumer rights. While some of these initiatives, such as the single aviation market, have contributed to the development of aviation on the European continent, others impose heavy burdens on the industry. EU Regulation 261 on passenger rights is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation ever introduced, resulting in many court cases and European Court of Justice rulings due to its lack of clarity.
In addition, the need for the current review of the Regulation could have been avoided if an impact assessment had been carried out following the amendments by the Council and the European Parliament. Other pieces of legislation such as the Ground Handling Directive, limit competition or create inefficiencies, while good initiatives such as the Single European Sky are far from being implemented due to strong opposition from Member States. Numerous times, balanced Commission proposals have been amended during the decision making process, resulting in disastrous legislation.
“Against this background we invite the Commission to review all aviation regulation and make the necessary impact assessments”, says AEA’s CEO Athar Husain Khan. “A lot can be changed. Together with the announced new Aviation Package this Better Regulation project is an important building block to improve the competitiveness of Europe’s aviation market. AEA is fully committed to contribute so that our aviation industry can fully play its role in the jobs and growth agenda of the Commission.”