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Preparation of legal action against aggressively pricing airports/handlers

Hi All,

As per Peter’s suggestion I am starting a new thread being a follow up of the survey about pricing exclusion of GA by some airports.

Short summary of the previous plot: as GA we have a growing problem with unfair pricing policies of some airports, aimed at deliberate exclusion of GA. The problem is already well developed across the whole Europe (although with varying intensity) and keeps growing.

Counteraction proposal in brief: try the legal action against chosen few of abusers, of EU level significance, so that once winning – the case could be used across the broad scope of countries/airports. Money needed for that – a crowdfunding process.

More details at the thread:

The survey is still open, so please continue filling (to those who did not do it so far):

Below please find the graph with airports pointed by you as a response to questions no 3. The height of the graph shows the number of times a particular place was mentioned in the answers.
Let’s try to choose few airports we would like to sue, that are most aggressive against GA, without any good reason (like lack of capacity). We are looking for easiest targets, some nasty ones, for which it will be the most straightforward to prove monopoly pricing practices (comparing with peers ? some other way?). This phase is to prepare the initial input for legal advisors, so that they have some material to assess and start with.


I think one of the most egregious is LEZL (Sevilla), where there is no reason whatsoever to outprice GA. It’s a huge airport with very few movements. Others, such as LEMG do have lots of traffic, however as in most cases in Spain, the CAT arrives and departs in pretty well-defined waves with long periods of quiet in between.

In general I agree, this is a fight where the target(s) need to be picked wisely, which is also what I was referring to with my UK comment in the previous thread. We need to go after public airports, not some private grass field. And I’m in for the crowdfunding – still occasionally fly in Europe!

My vote would be to go after Ibiza as one of the first targets.

It is govt owned (I believe). It must have about the highest costs of any GA accessible airport in Europe (about E800 for a week sub 2 tonnes).There is a huge ramp so there is no ramp space excuse such as exists at Mykonos and even on a busy summer Saturday it is easy to slide light GA into the commercial approaches and departures.

Im definititely willing to help fund a sensible CF campaign

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom

I will definitively contribute to the funding.

Indeed important to set clear criterions to select which ones to go after. ‘Public’ (or Public/Private) and ‘no or no reasonable alternative’. Any more? And we need to be careful not to pick airports where the operator can easily demonstrate that we are ‘in the way’.

Ibiza could be a target, but with some caveats. It surely is the best one in the category of ‘ there is no alternative’! It’s 51% state-owned (like all other Spanish airports in the AENA system). Are we ‘in the way’? Hmmm. Of course there are two issues here, airspace capacity and platform space. During July/August the place is a zoo with airliners and private jets. Like Buckerfan says, the airspace capacity is manageable for the odd light GA aircraft, even in summer. To prevent light GA to clog up the appch procedure one could mandate a Y plan, (change to I only if weather turns IMC), because mixing VFR and IFR is quite feasible there. And on super busy days one could prohibit or restrict light GA traffic, we can’t have it all.. Platform space is a tricky one though. It can get crowded. Two years ago AENA wanted to expand the GA platform, but this idea ran into a big wall (local politicians: “we don’t want any more stinkin’ bizjets”), so in this case AENA would just refer us on… Now, outside of the summer season the place becomes totally deserted and any argument that we are in the way falls flat on its face.

Of course they should prohibit those silly ULM’s. So, i’ll get a discount on my contribution OK?

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

The problem with Spain (or Greece) is the time the case will take… We may be better off doing this in England, although of course there’s now the risk the rest of the EU would ignore the result. French courts are only a touch better than in Spain, also I’m fairly confident we would loose LFMD.


also I’m fairly confident we would loose LFMD.

Do you mean one would lose the case against LFMD, or lose LFMD as an airport open to light GA?

LFMD is not an obvious case because it isn’t pricey – so long as you are happy with the poor quality grass.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I will contribute. Greece for a number of reasons would be a good start.

LPSR, Portugal

To remove mandatory handling, have a look at Article 7 of the EU Groundhandling Directive 96/67/EC:

How it has been implemented as a Regulation in the member state:
(UK is here:

And how many airports are operating in violation of the regulation and prohibiting operators to self-handle.

Last Edited by James_Chan at 14 Mar 13:30

To address high pricing, the UK operates a free-market policy where airports are free to set their own prices The exception is Heathrow and Gatwick which are price regulated by the CAA:

One should argue with a Competitions/Markets Authority in the member state that the airport has a monopoly over a local area and there is no feasible alternative and perhaps bring in the reason to introduce price regulation.

AOPA Hellas (Greece) is investigating options for Legal Action.
The first part is the preparation of a briefing document from an in house lawyer (pilot) as to what is the task.
When this is ready it will be handed out to legal firm(s) for feedback, proposed actions and possible outcome if it goes well or bad.
Its a long road but at least they are on the first steps.
An other issue will be the funding of the legal costs but this will come later after the scope of the project is evaluated.

LGMG Megara, Greece
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