Today, the Assembly of European Regions (AER) gathered over 50 stakeholders to discuss the importance of regional airports and the success factors for their development. These include the role of low-fare airlines, the potential offered by public-private partnerships, successfully responding to environmental and social challenges and the role of European rules on state aid.
Onno Hoes, President of the AER Economy and Regional Development’ Committee and Regional Minister of Noord-Brabant (NL) emphasised the economic and social benefits that Eindhoven Airport brings to his Province of Noord-Brabant. “This is why the Province is one of the shareholders in Eindhoven Airport. Good international accessibility is a sine qua none condition if a region is to become and remain the place to be for knowledge institutes, high tech companies and innovative suppliers. Efficient connections to other top innovative regions in Europe are of the utmost importance. It is also obvious that such a flourishing regional airport is a crucial element for social cohesion, as it contributes to employment in the region,” Mr Hoes stressed.
AER Secretary General Klaus Klipp underlined the interest of low cost airlines for regions, based on the principle that business brings business. “Once you have a low cost airline on board, surely more will follow. Not only airlines but also distribution centres, whole sale companies etc. During this conference it became clear that there is a strong potential for regional airports to contribute to the economic growth of regions. This is a highly specialised business that needs to be better explained. Certainly at the level of the EU institutions it is essential to listen to the very specific needs of regions and their airports.”
Bart de Boer, General Manager of Eindhoven Airport concluded “The growth of Eindhoven Airport is crucial for the Province of Noord-Brabant. All stakeholders involved in the airport business acknowledged that their policies should also address negative environmental effects in a responsible and innovative way, without however compromising the development of the regional aviation as such.”
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