This is a money gathering process for a legal battle of General Aviation pilots, for their fair access to airports/ handling services in Europe.
At a growing number of airports in Europe the fees for landing/ parking/ handling for small airplanes has gone to extremes, thus making the landing there unfeasible.
Long way ahead of us, but we must stand up and win this battle, such practices are silently killing our GA flying.
As pilots, we have had some interesting discussion and survey about the excess prices we are facing here:
The situation differs from country to country, but it looks like that some airports, once getting commercial air traffic, increase the prices for landing/handling to the level that GA flying there is virtually extinct. This is happening despite the fact that at vast majority of airports there is space for both commercial air traffic and General Aviation. GA price ban is unfortunately being used as the easiest way of airport’s “capacity management”…
This unfair pricing process undercuts GA flying in Europe, acts against General Aviation related European businesses, jeopardizes GA flying safety.
The below map presents the intensity of high landing prices against GA as it emerged from the surveys taken. The higher the graph, the larger the number of pointing at particular airports/countries as using GA price expel strategy.
The excess prices also put our flying safety (life of GA pilots and it’s passengers) at danger:
-all survey results are available at:
It looks like there is no obvious counteraction for that neither in EU laws nor national laws, but it is high time to start a fight with that process. This will be a long road, with a possible request of EU level intervention, national antimonopoly bodies fillings etc. But we have a good team to start with this venture, the money we are gathering here will be used to finance the works of K&K Aviation Lawyers.
Below please see a presentation of the legal advisors we are going to have in this process:
The whole presentation of K&K team is available here:
The main goal of K&K work is to perform a comprehensive assessment of legal situation in this area and (if initial findings confirm) apply for an intervention at European Commision level. In parallel to that (again, when initial findings confirm) we agreed national antimonopoly fillings for Poland and Greece. This national approach is open for other countries as well, the only requirement is local (national antimonopoly law knowledgeable) legal partner for K&K.
And below extracts of K&K’s proposal to be a part of our action:
in reference to the discussions on airport charges for GA at European airports, I can confirm that from the legal point of view, it is a precedential case and it appears to be a quite difficult problem. In other words, there are no simple solutions here and any actions should be preceded by legal analyzes. However, the initial assessment allows to consider a legal support in the following areas.
Firstly, an attempt to prove that the existing system of airport charges, is an activity that may be classified as an abuse of the dominant position by the airport’s operators <…> The legal analysis in this matter could be used as a background for a complaint to the European Commission and/or National Competition Authority for an appropriate intervention.
Secondly, a legal analysis whether the action violates the rights of consumers and in particular whether it forces consumers to take particular steps (unfair commercial practices). <…>
Thirdly, the possibility of intervention on the part of Civil Aviation Authority (in Poland it is the CAA ) in regard to airport charges. <…>
The fourth area is an analysis whether the existing problem of extorting handling charges for GA does not violate the directives of handling services. In particular, whether the directive has been correctly implemented into the national law of a given country (in our case to Polish aviation law).
Taking into account the fact that most of the abovementioned actions would be restricted to national market, I suggest taking the following steps (legal support offer).
First and foremost, what needs to be conducted is a comprehensive legal analysis, which will attempt to justify whether the emerging practices constitute an abuse of the dominant position within the meaning of the Treaty on the functioning of the EU. <…> the analysis would be prepared by an expert in this field Professor Jakub Kociubiński from University of Wrocław
Based on the expert’s analysis, a draft proposal for the European Commission would be prepared <…>
Additionally we would prepare a draft complaint to the national competition authority (Poland) indicating that some serious issue might appear with those practices what might be seen not only as an abuse of the dominant position but also as unfair market practices.
The same would apply to Greece, if we get support from Greek lawyers (as you mentioned involvement of AOPA Greece). And of course this procedure can be extended onto the other countries, if we get local support, but this additional work will be subject of extra fees.
When it comes to the financial conditions, the performance of the legal analysis <…> and the preparation of the intervention drafts (for the EC and polish national competition authority) involves the cost of 6.000 (six thousand) euro including tax.
Legal analysis and drafts proposals will be prepared by a legal expert in the field of competition law professor Jakub Kociubiński as well as includes my involvement in the case (legal advisor, GA pilot, former vice president of the Polish CAA).
dr Piotr Kasprzyk
The whole action would not be possible without support from the side of AOPA Hellas, so warm regards to Kyprianos Biris (President of AOPA Hellas) for his backing in this process.
So let’s finance that and do (I hope…) something important for the freedom of our flying and GA survival in Europe!