Access to Airports

Business aviation and access to airports

Every flight starts at the airport. EBAA is aware of the serious challenges that Business aviation operators face regarding the ability to access a growing number of key airports in Europe.


Business aviation and access to airports

The air transport infrastructure has mainly been designed for conventional airlines, forcing Business aviation to operate at the margin of the system. More recently, with the privatisation of airports and the growth of scheduled aviation, more and more airports are facing capacity challenges.

Continued access is threatened by the growth of scheduled carriers, benefiting from automatic preferential rights. EBAA calls for regulation that allows Business aviation to access the same level as scheduled operators through appropriate slot regulation.

Access to airport slots

Business aviation cannot adapt to the current mechanism of slot acquisition, nor can it fit the ‘programmed non-scheduled’ definition.

Consequently, it risks being marginalised, if not effectively banned, in the near future from operating at these airports. The continuous growth in air transport has increased pressure on the capacity available for aircraft movements at certain airports where demand for take-off and landing slots exceeds infrastructure’s often scarce capacity.

Thus, owing to the specific nature of Business aviation and other non-scheduled operations, the current slot regulation cannot adequately address the sector’s slot allocation need. As it is, the proposed revision prevents Business aviation operators from obtaining and maintaining access at any airports that would become coordinated.

EBAA calls for a fair and equitable solution, recognising historical rights for all airspace users with an understanding that each model is an essential component of Europe’s air transport policy.

Access to major airports: safety perspective

Access to the entire network of airports is partially what makes Business aviation thrive: bringing customers as close as possible to the intended destination. Over two travel hours (127 minutes) are saved on average – the inability to achieve this would eliminate our sector’s key competitive advantage.

Our operations are not limited to business passengers only. More than 70 Business aviation medical flights per day depend on access to the entire network of airports to perform lifesaving movements.

Being diverted for capacity reasons to airports in the vicinity of the original destination also increases the need for fuel stops. Longer operations mean more flight duty time spent, potentially inducing crew fatigue and affecting airspace capacity.

Restricting Business aviation’s access to major airports has other safety implications as well: landing at secondary airports could translate into operational challenges with smaller safety margins.

Contact the Policy
and Regulatory team

Do you want to know more about this issue?  Get in touch:

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Mélissa Capizzi Manager, Operational Affairs
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Máté Bajtay EU Affairs Manager

Related reading

A Roadmap for European Business aviation 6.68 MB
Download: A Roadmap for European Business aviation