STATE AID : GREEN LIGHT FOR AID TO MEMMINGEN AIRPORT IN GERMANY.
The European Commission found, on 5 June, that investment aid totalling 7.75 million to finance an infrastructure project at Memmingen Airport in Bavaria is in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission felt that the state aid granted by the Free State of Bavaria to modernise and improve the infrastructure of this small regional airport would contribute "to an objective of common European interest by improving the connectivity of the region" without unduly distorting competition in the internal market. The airport, which carries less than one million passengers a year, has developed faster than initially foreseen during the last six years and was unable to meet the increasing demand from airlines and passengers in Southern Germany.
"Local airports are important for the accessibility of a region and the development of local business. The Memmingen project exemplifies how infrastructure projects for such airports can be financed through both private and public funds in line with EU state aid rules," explained Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.
The Commission examined the project under its 2005 guidelines on state aid to the aviation sector, which are under revision today. The new grounds are scheduled for the beginning of 2014.
The Commission is currently has around 60 ongoing cases in the aviation sector concerning the financing of airport infrastructure and operation as well as airport/airline arrangements.