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Airports

Ownership

What rules govern the ownership of airports (both public and private)?

The ownership of immovable property is governed by the Civil Act. An airport can be owned by the state, public entities or private real persons or legal entities. Airport operations are carried out under a licence obtained from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in compliance with national and international requirements for airports as provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the European Aviation Safety Agency. Airports must be certified by the DGCA and the requirements for airport certification are set out in Regulation SHY-14A.

Operation

What is the authorisation procedure for the operation of airports?

A person intending to build and operate an airport for general or commercial purposes must first obtain permission from the Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications. After completion of the airport’s construction, the operator must submit a plan to the DGCA containing the following information:

  • details of all airport facilities;
  • a list of trained airport personnel;
  • training and education certificates;
  • details of safety management systems; and
  • an equipment list as required by the ICAO and meeting ICAO standards and procedures.

Then DGCA and ministry experts then review this information and if all ICAO requirements are met, the airport is certified for aviation operations.

What ongoing operating requirements apply (including obligations relating to safety, security and facilities maintenance)?

See above.

Airport charges

What airport charges apply and how are they regulated?

Airports charge operators for landing, parking, navigation, slots, airport services, fuel, lighting and ground services. Airport charges are regulated through a tariff set by the Directorate General of State Airports Enterprises and approved by the Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications. Private airport operators set their own tariffs, which are also subject to the approval of the ministry.

Access

What regulations govern access to airports?

Access to airports is restricted on the grounds of safety and security considerations.

Slot allocation

What regime governs the allocation of airport slots (including slot transfer, revocation and disputes)?

Slots are allocated by a slot coordinator assigned by the DGCA. There is a detailed regulation on slot allocation which is based on (and very similar to) EU Regulation 793/2004 on the allocation of slots at EU airports.

Ground handling

How are ground handling services regulated?

Ground handling services are regulated by DGCA Regulation SHY-22.

Competition issues

Governing regime

Do any sector-specific competition regulatory/legal provisions apply to the aviation industry in your jurisdiction?

No sector-specific regulatory/legal provisions apply to the aviation sector. General competition provisions apply.

Code sharing and joint ventures

What (if any) competition concerns arise in relation to code sharing and air carrier joint ventures?

Not applicable.

State aid

What rules govern state aid in the aviation industry? Do any exemptions apply?

Not applicable.

Notable cases

Have there been any notable recent cases or rulings involving competition in the aviation industry?

No, to the best of our knowledge.

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