Air transport

 

EEA rules have removed commercial constraints upon air carriers established within the EEA relating to access to routes, frequency and capacity of flights and setting of fares.

The Authority monitors the EFTA States in order to ensure that they comply with air transport rules, as well as with the principles of non-discrimination, free movement of services and the right of establishment.

Airport charges

Airport charges in the EFTA States are under constant observation by the Authority. For example, where international airport charges are higher than domestic charges EFTA States must justify this by demonstrating that the differentiation is cost-based

Maintaining unprofitable routes

In order to maintain regular air services on routes which are vital for the economic development of a region, EFTA States may impose public service obligations on a given air carrier. This means that the State concerned may restrict access to a route to a single air carrier and compensate its operational losses resulting from the public service obligation. In such cases, the Authority monitors compliance with the conditions and requirements set out in Regulation (EC) 1008/2008 on common rules for the operation of air services.

Passenger rights

Passengers may be entitled to compensation if denied boarding, or if a flight is cancelled or delayed. The EFTA States are required to establish national enforcement authorities, whose role is to verify that air operators treat all passengers in accordance with their rights. Passengers who believe they have not been treated correctly should contact the relevant authority in the country where the incident took place. Passengers may also lodge a complaint with the Authority against an air operator that fails to comply with its obligations.

Relevant links:

Technical harmonisation and air safety

The EU has, in recent years, taken an active role in improving aviation safety through legislation. Aviation safety legislation has been incorporated into the EEA Agreement and is therefore also applicable in the EFTA States. The Authority ensures that EEA aviation safety legislation is implemented correctly and in a timely manner into the national legal orders of the EFTA States.

Derogations from the rules are possible under certain conditions and proposed derogations or exemptions must be notified to the Authority. The Authority can accept notifications or ask the notifying EFTA State to withdraw or amend its decision if considered unjustified.

Relevant links:

Aviation Security

The EU also has an active role in improving aviation security. The relevant rules have been incorporated into the EEA Agreement. One of the main responsibilities of the Authority in the field of civil aviation security is to carry out inspections in the EFTA States in order to monitor the application of aviation security legislation incorporated into the EEA Agreement. In this way EFTA states are also incorporated into the "one stop security regime" established in the EU member states.




Other EEA Institutions


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