Today, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) welcomed the financial package agreed by EUROCONTROL and European Member States enabling operators to defer the payment of air traffic control charges.
The EUROCONTROL Member States have agreed a financial package enabling operators to defer the payment of up to €1.1 billion of air traffic control fees due for payment to Europe’s air traffic management industry in the coming months.
The announcement comes as the 374,000 people who work in the European Business Aviation sector are facing a crisis of unprecedented magnitude and uncertain futures. In the last week of March, EUROCONTROL observed a decrease of 72% in Business Aviation traffic, and estimated revenue losses for the thousands of SMEs that make up the sector range from 50-90%.
Commenting on the announcement, EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan said: “We thank EUROCONTROL and the national governments for this measure which will ease the immediate burden on operators and help the Business Aviation sector continue to play its vital role in the fight against COVID-19”.
Many operators specialised in medical and emergency flights are currently providing essential services to communities fighting the pandemic, including for the transport of health workers. But all other medical emergencies have not stopped, and are being handled by Business Aviation operators despite numerous operational challenges and restrictions.
Along with medical and emergency flights, Business Aviation also provides cargo flights, ensuring the transport and delivery of critical medical supplies in Europe and around the world. Business Aviation is also supporting European and national governments’ efforts in reuniting families through repatriation flights.
In an open letter last week, the European Business Aviation community urged European policy-makers and regulators to protect the continuity and survival of the Business Aviation sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. EBAA will continue to work in close partnership with policy-makers and regulators across Europe to overcome the crisis, maintain the essential functioning of the sector in the immediate future, and ensure its prompt recovery once the outbreak is under control.
EBAA members who have questions on the package should contact Vanessa Rullier-Francaud (firstname.lastname@example.org).