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IACA welcomes the European Commission’s decision to propose a new regulation on groundhandling services. IACA believes indeed that a Regulation provides for a better legislative instrument to deal with groundhandling issues than a Directive, as it is applicable in a uniform manner throughout the Union.

Nevertheless, IACA considers that the European Commission has proposed unnecessary interference in the contractual relationship between a groundhandler and an airline. Elements such as minimum quality levels and training should be part of the service level agreement , rather than detailed at EU level. IACA believes indeed that the specification of quality for ground handling services should reflect the liberalisation in the air transport sector, which has made possible diverse successful business models which are often based on different levels of service to the passengers, including for ground handling.

Whilst IACA welcomes the progressive opening up of the groundhandling market with the proposed Regulation, it strongly suggests to make the text stronger with respect to the tender process criteria, as well as the charging mechanisms for centralised structures.

A full copy of the position paper can be viewed here.