As part of the evaluation of the Aviation Act, the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management requested the NMa to investigate whether Schiphol Airport is still dominant in regard to its aviation activities, including landing and take-off fees and tariffs for handling passengers and baggage.10
Research agency German Airport Performance (GAP) carried out the study into a possible dominant position on the market(s) for aviation activities and activities closely related to aviation activities.
Based on GAP’s findings, the NMa concluded that aviation activities constitute a single market: the market of making available the airport’s infrastructure to airlines and other users.11 From a geographic point of view, this market is limited to the catchment area of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. NVLS, operator of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, enjoys a dominant position on this market because it would be able to profitably increase its tariffs. Sector-specific regulation is thus desirable for the aviation activities.
In addition, GAP’s findings reveal that activities closely related to aviation activities form a single market: the market of providing access to the airport’s infrastructure for ground handlers and other organisations.12 From a geographic point of view, this market is physically limited to Schiphol’s land, possibly including locations close to the airport. Since NVLS manages access to the airport, and since it can charge a fee under the exclusive operation licence granted by the Dutch government, NVLS is dominant on this market. As a result, sector-specific regulation on this market will be necessary as soon as NVLS decides to charge access fees.13 Interested parties have until 26 March 2010 to comment on the NMa’s findings.