Another Blow to Regional Connectivity Dealt by French Government

In a recent message to the French government, EBAA France calls attention to detrimental effects of the decision to close border facilities at 13 regional airports across the country.

The EBAA supports EBAA France’s initiative to sensitize the government and public to this short-sighted decision, which comes after 23 such border crossing points were closed in 2013, and which fails to consider the economic impact of these actions. For example, EBAA France points out that removing the border status of Saint-Tropez, Le Castellet and Annemasse airports affects over 700 non-Schengen flights per year and will entail considerable losses for these regions (€50 million for the Saint-Tropez Airport alone).

This is yet another blow to regional connectivity, coming after the erosion of grandfather rights of non-scheduled operators through an overhaul of the Slot Regulation, as well as a parallel attempt, through a revision of the Guidelines on State Aids at Regional Airports, to force regional airports to close if they are unable to demonstrate financial autonomy. All of this is further compounded by the perennial lack of political support and foresight to equip regional airports with satellite-based augmentation system procedures to enable their use to be optimised, unlike what is being done on the other side of the Atlantic.