FAS Is in Favour of Liberalizing Airport Services
OREANDA-NEWS. June 20, 2012. The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS Russia) forwarded to the Ministry of Transport, the Federal Tariff Service, the Ministry of Economic Development a draft Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation “On Introducing Changes to No.599 Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation On the Procedures for Access to the Services of the Holders of Natural Monopolies in Airports” of 22nd July 2009”, reported the press-centre of FAS Russia.
The objective of these changes and amendments is further development of competition in airport services and liberalization of ground handling markets.
The draft Decree establishes:
- General principles and the procedures for ensuring non-discriminatory access of providers and / or self-contained consumers, to the ground handling services using airport infrastructure facilities, as well as to the infrastructure facilities, using which these services are provided;
- The procedures for providing such access in case of any restrictions at airports;
- The list of ground handling services with mandatory access of providers and self-contained consumers in large airports (over one million passengers per year);
- The minimum number of providers that must be allowed to provide ground handling services, specified by the draft Decree, in large airports, even if there are restrictions (in the airports with the passenger flow is no less than one million passengers per year – no fewer than two organizations, in the airports with the passenger flow over five million passengers per year – no fewer than three organizations);
- The procedures for non-discriminatory access of providers under the existing restrictions of the number of operators rendering ground handling services through use of infrastructure facilities.
Ground handling services constitute an important element of efficient use of air transport infrastructure.
Open access to the ground handling services market decreases operating expenditures of air carriers and improves the quality of services for airports users.
Deputy Head of FAS Russia, Anatoly Golomolzin, pointed out: “For the first time the norms on developing competition in ground handling in general are established by the Rules for access to the services of the holders of natural monopolies in airports and these norms will enable developing competition in ground handling of aircrafts in airports. The Rules are approved by No.599 Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 22nd July 2009.
As a result of adopting the document, within 2.5 years the situation in airports has improved considerably. FAS analyzed enforcement practice of No.599 Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 22nd July 2009 by researching competitive environment of airport services and identified quality changes in the field of ground handling, in particular, in aviation fuel supply.
Competitive environment in airports is being formed in certain segments of the market of ground handling services that have 2-7 providers. For instance, in 12 airports - services (works) for aviation-engineering support of aviation equipment and technical maintenance of aircrafts; in 3 airports - aircrafts clearing (cleaning and sweeping-up) and aircraft equipment; in 6 airports - services (works) for providing food catering for passengers and crews; in 8 airports - services (works) for passenger commercial servicing; in 7 airports - services (works) for handling luggage, cargo, mail; in 11 airports - services (works) for servicing commercial air transportation by the air carriers that carry out business aviation flights.
In the field of aviation fuel supply, alternative refueling companies operate in 19 airports (of which 11 airports have federal status). The structure of aviation fuel supply markets has changed. Refueling companies in airports tend to shift from providing an integrated “into-plane fuelling” service to a combined scheme of aviation fuel supply - combining own fuel of a refueling company, fuel of air carriers, and suppliers’ fuel.
Along with abolishing route licensing and traffic volume quoting, providing guarantees for non-discriminatory access to the services of natural monopolies in airports, robust FAS efforts towards suppressing violations both in operations of air companies and in the field of airport services increased air transportation in 2010 by 26.2% and in 2011 - by 11.6%”.
Deputy Head of FAS also emphasized: “To continue increasing air transportation, avoid unreasonable growth of air fares, and develop low-fare transportation, further measures are necessary, aimed at optimizing airlines’ expenditures in airports. For example, measures adopted to liberalize ground handling in airports of the European Union showed that through ensuring non-discriminatory access of providers and self-contained consumers to these markets the costs of ground handling have been reduced (10-20% in 75% of the airports of EC countries); in the airports where there used to be a ground handling monopoly, emerging providers now control a considerable market share; the number of air carriers independently providing ground handling services has increased; and the number of independent companies involved in ground services has increased significantly.”