The European Economic and Social Committee is organising a hearing on the currently ongoing revision of aviation guidelines.
This is the only public hearing organised in the context of this revision, it will bring together very important stakeholders and enjoys strong support by the European Commission.
The air transport market has evolved dramatically in recent years: low-cost carriers have developed new and comprehensive business models linked to regional airports and have gained substantial market shares.
At the same time, the former national carriers have almost all completed their restructuring process, consolidating their presence in Europe.
In a recent landmark ruling, the General Court has confirmed that the construction of airport infrastructure is part of the economic activity of operating an airport and that state financing towards it is state aid except for what concerns infrastructure used to perform public interest tasks.
The Commission had a significant number of complaints in the sector from the former flag carriers against the low-cost airlines, on the one hand, and from the latter against the former, on the other hand.
The Commission decided to revise the current rules and will come forward with a proposal for revised aviation guidelines by spring 2012.