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State Aid

State Aid: New Aviation Guidelines adopted



The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adopted new Aviation Guidelines for state aid to airports and airlines, corresponding to similar guidelines adopted by the European Commission. The adoption of these new Aviation Guidelines is part of a broader strategy to modernize state aid control.

“A notable aspect of the new Aviation Guidelines is the provision of operating aid for a 10-year transitional period, which will allow small unprofitable airports to adapt to the new market developments,” said Ms. Oda Helen Sletnes, president of the Authority.

The new Aviation Guidelines provide for better targeted investment aid, with maximum permissible aid intensities depending on the size of the airport. The rules for start-up aid to airlines have also been simplified in order to facilitate the opening of new destinations from small untested airports.

In general, the new Aviation Guidelines explain the concept of permissible state aid in the air transport sector and provide clarifications concerning, for example:

  • the notion of an undertaking and economic activity,
  • the application of ‘the market economy operator' principle in the context of public funding of airports,
  • the financial relationships between airports and airlines, and
  • the definition of airports and related services as services of general economic interest.

The new Aviation Guidelines replace the 2005 Guidelines on financing of airports and start-up aid to airlines departing from regional airports.


For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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