Since 2001, when it published a report on regional aviation, AER has committed itself to defend and
promote the role of Regional Airports as a tool for regional economic development and citizen
mobility. Under the leadership of the Working Group on Regional Airports, the AER is closely
following the European Commission’s decisions regarding the revised guidelines on state aid for the
aviation sector, as these have a direct impact on Europe’s regions.
While AER supports the European Commission’s aim of promoting fair competition, efficiency in
public financing and attracting more private investment, we are concerned about the negative
impact the new rules will have not only on Regional Airports, but also European regions. Should the
guidelines be published according to the European Commission’s current proposal, the new rules
may seriously infringe the ability of Europe’s regions to organise their transport services and
therefore define coherent territorial development strategies.
The following paper is thus a response to the consultation on the revised ‘EU Guidelines on State Aid
to Airports and Airlines’.
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