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State Aid

State Aid: Formal investigation of Northern Norway Charter Fund Scheme

27.6.2012

PR(12)37

Today, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (the Authority) decided to open a formal investigation procedure with regard to the notified scheme on a Charter Fund for Northern Norway.


The objective of the scheme is to increase the use of airports in Northern Norway and to contribute to the regional development of the region. Three Counties are concerned:  Nordland, Troms and Finmark.

The Counties will establish a Charter Fund which will cover part of the charter costs for any tour operator flying charters to Northern Norway. A maximum of 25% of the charter costs may be paid by the Charter Fund, if it appears at the end of the charter series that planes were less than 80% full.

The Regional Aid Guidelines provide for the possibility to grant operating aid to fight depopulation in regions which are the least populated. The Norwegian authorities have argued that the scheme is in line with the Authority's Regional Aid Guidelines as it will prevent or reduce continuing depopulation in Northern Norway.

The Authority opens a formal investigation as it has doubts whether a scheme providing for the grant of operating aid to tour operators that may be situated outside the least populated regions may be compatible with the Regional Aid Guidelines.

A decision to open a formal investigation procedure is without prejudice to the final decision to be adopted by the Authority. The opening decision will be published on the Authority's website and in the EEA Section of the Official Journal of the European Union and the EEA Supplement thereto, inviting interested parties to comment within one month from the date of publication.

The Authority will take its final decision after having reviewed comments from the Norwegian authorities and from any interested parties.

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187




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