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State aid to airports and airlines

Consultation on the draft Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines

Policy field

Competition: State aid

Target group

Institutions, public authorities, citizens, companies and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from public authorities (Member States, Regions, Cities and Municipalities) financing airports and providing start-up aid for the development of new routes and the aviation industry (in particular airport operators, airlines, ground handling companies).

Period of consultation

From 03.07.2013 to 25.09.2013

Objective of the consultation

The purpose of the present consultation is to invite Member States, other institutions and stakeholders to provide feedback on the revised draft guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines. These revised draft guidelines take stock of the new legal and economic situation concerning the public financing of airports and airlines and specify under which conditions such public financing constitute or not State aid under the meaning of Article 107 (1) of the Treaty, and when it constitutes State aid, under which conditions it can be declared compatible with the internal market. The Commission's assessment is based on its experience and decision practice, as well as on its analysis of current market conditions in the airport and aviation sectors.

The Commission proposes a balanced approach, which is neutral vis-à-vis the various business models of airports and airlines, and takes into account the growth prospects of air traffic, the need for regional development and accessibility and the positive role of the Low Cost Carrier model for the development of some regional airports. Against this backdrop the present draft guidelines introduce a new approach to the assessment of compatibility of aid to airports and airlines:

  • Whereas the 2005 Aviation guidelines left open the issue of investment aid, these revised Guidelines define maximum permissible aid intensities depending on the size of the airport.
  • For a transitional period of up to 10 years, operating aid to regional airports can be declared compatible.
  • The compatibility conditions for start-up aid to airlines during the transitional period have been streamlined and adapted to recent market developments.

How to submit your contribution

  • You are invited to submit your comments to the revised draft guidelines hereunder in any official EU language. Given the possible delays in translating comments submitted in certain languages, translations of the replies into one of the Commission's working languages (preferably English) would be welcome to enable the Commission to process them more swiftly.
  • In your reply, please indicate whether you are replying as citizen, organisation or public authority. If your organisation is registered in the Transparency Register, please indicate your Register ID number. If your organisation is not registered, you can register now. Responses from organisations not registered will be published separately.
  • Contributions will be published on this webpage. Submissions that are clearly marked "confidential" will be treated as such and not published. In that case please also provide a non-confidential version of your reply. It is important to read the privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the consultation document

These are non-official translations. In case of doubt, the English version prevails.

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Press release: State aid: Commission consults on new state aid rules for airports and airlines
Frequently asked questions

Reference documents and other, related consultations

Contact details

Responsible service: Directorate-General for Competition – Unit for State aids in the Transport sector
E-mail address:
Ref.: "HT.2635"

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition
State aid Registry
Ref.: "HT 2635"
1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

Protection of personal data Privacy statement

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