07 June 2024


In response to the European Commission’s fitness check on EU legislation that regulate EU airport capacity and infrastructure in the Single Market, CLECAT has submitted its feedback. The European Commission is seeking to determine whether current legislation on slots, groundhandling and airport charges are still fit for purpose and delivering on its objectives in view of recent trends such as market consolidation, capacity challenges, labour shortages, increased competition from non-EU airlines/airports and the need to decarbonise.

CLECAT calls for a flexible slot allocation system that can quickly adapt to changing market conditions. This level of flexibility would enable Member States to proportionately prioritise air freight needs. At the same time, the current "use it or lose it" rule, which mandates that airlines must use 80% of their allocated slots to retain them, is problematic for full freighters due to their different operational dynamics compared to passenger flights.

CLECAT further supports the further liberalisation of the groundhandling market to boost efficiency. However, CLECAT stresses that merely increasing competition is not sufficient to guarantee better services, indicating the need to establish minimum quality standards for groundhandling services.