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10 October 2012
On July 25 2012, after several months of negotiations and discussions, the planning agreement between the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) and SEA Group, which manages the two Milan airports (Linate and Malpensa), entered into force.
The agreement is the first to be signed under the regulation introduced by Law 102/2009 governing the new fee system for the largest national airports (those dealing with over 10 million passengers).
In particular, the new system provides:
The part of the planning agreement which deals with a significant fee increase to be applied by SEA for the services provided will worry carriers and customers, as well as other users. The new fees will be applied gradually, depending on the implementation of the projects under the agreement, and will be charged mainly to air carriers and in part to passengers.
Moreover, the fees will be applied to both the Milan airports, irrespective of the specific airport interested in the single investment and development. Because of the varying magnitudes of improvements planned for Malpensa (eg, a third landing strip) compared to those for Linate, this could impair the balance between developments and fee increases.
There is no doubt that the management company on one hand, and the air carriers and customers on the other, will continue to discuss the implementation of the terms and conditions of the planning agreement, and in particular, who will ultimately carry the burden of the increased fees. In the meantime, the Italian carriers association and the Italian Board of Airline Representatives have announced their intention to challenge the planning agreement before the Administrative Court of Rome, as they have found the criteria implemented to be unfair.
The planning agreement signed by ENAC and SEA could represent a benchmark for all agreements to be signed by ENAC with the largest Italian airports. Its implementation will influence the relevant negotiations. In particular, it applies to Rome's Fiumicino airport, as the relevant planning agreement between ENAC and the Rome airports manager is in negotiation and close to being executed.
For further information on this topic please contact Laura Pierallini at Studio Legale Pierallini e Associati by telephone (+39 06 88 41 713), fax (+39 06 88 40 249) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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