Environmental charges

Some airports levy environmental charges, either separate or integrated into other ones (e.g. landing charges), in order to incentivise the use of quieter or lower-emission aircraft by airlines or fund local mitigation measures (Figure 5.3).

A recent evaluation of Directive 2009/12/EC on Airport Charges [71], together with an analysis of publicly available information, revealed that approximately 60% of the busiest EU28+EFTA airports have implemented environmental charges. In line with ICAO guidance, these charges are focused on local noise and/or air quality (NOX) impacts and not global climate change impacts (CO2), and are dependent on numerous factors including the aircraft and engine type, the certified noise and emission levels and time of the day. The overall proportion of environmental charges relative to total airport charges is increasing, but remains small as of 2016 (approximately 4% for long haul and 1% for short haul flights). As airport charges represent 15-20% of low-cost carrier costs and 4-8% of network carrier costs, the evaluation report concluded that it is questionable whether those charging schemes influence the fleet operating at the airports.

Although there are significant differences in the structure of the environmental charging systems across Europe, the evaluation of the Airport Charges Directive concluded that it had provided a common framework for a transparent consultation on the charging setting process, remedies, non-discrimination and the establishment of independent supervisory authorities.