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Towards higher standards of ground-handling services at EU airports. Artur Zasada MEP

Date

16 Apr 2013

Sections

EU Priorities 2020

"I am satisfied that after more than a year of difficult negotiations, the European Parliament has reached a common agreement on the ground-handling Regulation", said Artur Zasada MEP, Rapporteur on ground-handling services at European airports, adopted today by the European Parliament.

"Throughout the process, I advocated a mild and balanced further opening of the ground-handling market. I also listened attentively to the voices of employees in this sector and tried to reach a compromise between a very limited liberalisation on the one hand, and good quality standards and stronger protection for workers in this labour-intensive sector on the other", said Artur Zasada.

The Rapporteur proposed an annex to the main part of the Regulation in which, after consulting airports, airlines and companies that provide ground-handling services, he suggested an extensive list of minimum quality standards to improve the level of services at European airports.

"In the next few years, every European airport will have its own minimum standards which will have to be respected by the ground-handling companies willing to operate at the airport. This will include i.e. the maximum waiting time for baggage check-in, maximum time for delivery of first and last items of baggage, minimum stock of de-icing fluid at each airport or a minimum number of staff members able to provide information at the gate", he continued.

Further changes concern the number of ground-handling providers for restricted airside services. This number is currently minimum two. The majority of European airports are already fully or partially liberalised, but there are still some airports which have only two handlers and one of them belongs to the airport and is not subject to the tender procedure. In practice, it means a monopoly or at least duopoly situation and a very limited choice of business-partners for the airlines.

"In my proposal, I raised the minimum number of providers to three for airports with over 15 million passengers per year. Thus, by increasing the number of providers we can both improve quality and lower prices", concluded Artur Zasada.

In addition, the Report assumes one approval procedure for the companies from different Member States. This means, for example, that an Italian company dealing with baggage handling at the airport in Rome will be able to provide their services at any other airport in any other country in the European Union.

The Report adopted today is part of the so-called airport package - one on allocation of slots and the other on the introduction of noise-related restrictions at EU airports.

For further information:

Artur ZASADA MEP, tel.: +33 (0)3 88 175795

Katarzyna Klaus, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, tel.: 32 484 138359

 

Note to Editors

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 270 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

 

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