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Edinburgh Airport drop-off charge under EU scrutiny

22-Jul-2011 11:44 AM

Edinburgh Airport’s GBP1 drop-off charge is under investigation by the European Union following a plea by conservative MEP Struan Stevenson to clarify whether the fee was permissible under EU law (BBC News, 21-Jul-2011). Edinburgh Airport stated it is not the first airport to introduce such a charge and other airports had similar schemes. EU Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas, replied that “to our [the European Comission’s] knowledge, no similar charge exists at any other airport in Europe, privately or publicly owned". Mr Kallas said that the EU's transport directorate would raise the drop-off charge with the European Observatory on Airport Capacity, which has the remit to address the question of access to all of Europe's airports.

UK Conservative MEP: "Edinburgh Airport's GBP1 fee for drivers dropping off passengers at the terminal building was a shock to the city's beleaguered travellers when it was introduced last year. Now it looks like the airport's operators have shocked the rest of Europe too by pioneering these money-raking antics. Though Edinburgh Airport was amongst the first to exploit drivers in this way, a number of similar schemes have cropped up in British airports recently. I'd welcome any light the EU's transport directorate can shed on the appropriateness of such creeping charges. Better still, it would be good if airport operators could give their customers a break, and drop them altogether." Struan Stevenson, conservative MEP. Source: BBC News, 21-Jul-2011.

Edinburgh Airport: "Edinburgh Airport was not the first airport in the UK to introduce a charge for dropping off passengers. When we created our GBP1 and free drop off zones, six other UK airports had introduced or were introducing similar schemes. These have been well reported and we're unsure as to why the European Union is unaware of their existence. We're sure that these other airports have seen the benefits we have in reduced congestion, extra capacity and a safer and more pleasant environment for our passengers.” Spokesman. Source: BBC News, 21-Jul-2011.

Edinburgh Airport: "If our politicians were truly committed to assisting 'beleaguered travellers' they would be lobbying the Westminster Government to halt the increases in Air Passenger Duty, which affects all passengers travelling through our airport. It not only deters Scots from travelling, but it deters visitors from flying to our country and is damaging to our vital tourism industry." Spokesman. Source: BBC News, 21-Jul-2011.