SNP MEP Ian Hudghton believes that new EU plans to harmonise airport charges will provide a fairer deal for Scottish airports. Edinburgh and Glasgow airports will be affected by the scheme, but all other Scottish airports should be exempted.

The SNP President and member of the European Parliament's Transport Committee said exemptions and special provisions in the EU scheme will leave smaller Scottish airports unaffected, whilst making it easier for larger airports to compete with other European hubs.

The plans come before the European Parliament this week.
Speaking ahead of the vote due to take place on Thursday, the SNP MEP said:

"I think we've struck the right balance between fair competition and the need for exemptions in certain circumstances.

"I'm particularly pleased that we were able to get an exemption for all airports with a passenger throughput of less than five million people a year.
"This should mean that we get a fairer, clearer charging system that will allow Glasgow and Edinburgh to better compete with other major European airports, whilst exempting Scotland's smaller airports which are so important to our rural and outlying communities.

"I'm also pleased that these plans will allow incentives for airports in rural and outlying areas. In addition, charges for providing services to disabled passengers will be exempted.

"These plans may not be perfect, but they should provide better clarity, transparency and fairness in airport charges, whilst recognising the need for exemptions in certain cases."

Notes:

The European Parliament votes at second reading this Thursday 22 October on the proposed scheme for Common Principles for levying charges at airports within the European Union.

The airports concerned are:
Alicante, Amsterdam, Athens; Barcelona, Berlin (Schoenefeld and Tegel), Birmingham, Bourgas, Bratislava, Bristol, Brussels (Zaventem), Bucharest, Budapest, Catania, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Edinburgh, Faro, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Gran Canaria, Hamburg, Hannover, Helsinki, Iraklion, Kobenhavn, Köln/Bonn, Lanzarote, Larnaka, Lisboa, Ljubljanna, London (Gatwick, Heathtrow, Luton and Stansted), Luxemburg, Lyon, Madrid/Barajas, Malaga, Malta, Manchester, Marseille-Provence, Milano (Linate and Malpensa), München, Newcastle, Nice-Cote d'Azur, Pafos, Palma de Mallorca,
Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Praha, Riga, Rodos, Roma/Fiumicino, Sofia, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tallinn, Tenerife, Timisoara, Toulouse (Blagnac and CCER), Varna, Venezia, Vilnius, Warszawa and Wien.

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