The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) have jointly commissioned an independent study to evaluate the potential damage to intra-European airlines and the regions and businesses they serve should the European Commission go ahead with its plans to amend the current slot allocation Regulation. The study will be undertaken by an internationally renowned consultant.
The European Commission (EC) has indicated that it intends to amend the existing slot allocation Regulation based on a study produced by Steer Davies Gleave (SDG). However, the SDG study has been based on the purely theoretical objective of maximizing passenger throughput at coordinated airports by forcing out smaller aircraft and replacing them with larger ones. Many regional routes within Europe cannot sustain larger aircraft, yet these routes are essential for connecting regional communities to major hubs and for providing investment, employment and social mobility to those regions. Any change to the slot allocation Regulation which denies access from the regions to European capitals (and international destinations) would negatively affect jobs and would socially and financially impact Europe’s regions. Nine out of 10 European citizens live in Europe’s regions.
Mike Ambrose, ERA director general, says: “The new study is intended to adopt a holistic approach that, unlike the SDG study, will allow the full effects of the SDG proposals to be determined. What would be the employment effects in air transport and in the EU’s regions? What will be the effects on the EU’s own airlines? Which carriers will be the greatest beneficiaries? How do SDG’s proposals affect economic and social well-being? These are just some of the questions that we want the study to address and which we feel should be clear to the Commission before it formalises its proposals for revision. Changing the existing regulation does not address the underlying problems of lack of capacity.”