Sweden complains that EU meddling in its domestic transport system threaten its smaller airports
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Sweden hardly complain about EU proposal but this time regional
airports authorities here feel that an EU rule on subsidies to them is
a blow below the belt. If the proposal Brussels is talking about goes
on and implemented, then Sweden fears that over 30 of its regional
airports risks closure.
Swedish television reports that a draft new guideline from the European
Commission, hold that public support for regional airports should be
phased out and completely discontinued by 2023 - that is, about ten
years. The reason for this is said to strengthen competition - bizarre
as Sweden is more competitive that the EU itself. Therefore, less
competitive EU lectures Sweden on competition. This is not going well
with Swedish airport authorities.
the proposal in the draft implemented, it would mean a dead sentence
for our regional airports," said Peter Larsson, CEO of the Swedish
Association of Regional Airports, with 36 members.
The Commission's proposed guidelines would have been presented in May
but has been delayed. Peter Larsson believed that it is due to the
harsh criticism from countries such as Sweden.
"We are the EU country with the longest distance in our territory and
air travel is an essential part of the infrastructure which help takes
people around the kingdom in a reasonable manner. It is completely
unreasonable for Brussels to decide how we run domestic services in
Sweden," says Peter Larsson.
After the Swedish aviation sector was deregulated in the 1990s, the
traffic on many small airports greatly reduced. For air transport to
continue to run, Dalaflyget which owns airports in Borlänge and Mora
for example, received an annual subvention of Skr20 million by local
governments in the region.
"Without this support we would not have any air transport at all in
Dalarna," says CEO Lars Ivarsson of Dalaflyget and continues:
"A ban on aid to Swedish airports is a blow below the belt, small
airports are extremely important for the regional economy," says
Ivarsson to Swedish television.
The EU Competition Commissioner, Joaquin Almunia, who is leading the
work to develop the new guidelines, believes that there is an
establishment of regional airports in Europe, and many receive hidden
subsidies. Almunia wants "balance" between fair competition and the
regional airports, reports Swedish television.
by Scancomark.com Team
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