European Commission approves public support for Antwerp airport and Ostend-Bruges airport in Belgium

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On 12 November, the European Commission approved, under EU State aid rules, public support measures in favour of Antwerp airport and Ostend-Bruges airport in Belgium.

Antwerp Airport

With respect to Antwerp airport, Belgium plans to grant €8.96 million investment aid to modernise the security and safety infrastructure of the airport, as well as €1.7 million in operating aid to the private operator of the airport. The Commission assessed the support measures under EU State aid rules, in particular the 2005 and 2014 Aviation Guidelines.

The Commission found that the aid will improve connectivity from and to Antwerp and facilitate the development of the city and, more widely, of the Flemish Region.

Furthermore, the Commission found that the airport is not expected to grow at the expense of other airports located within the same catchment area. As a result, the aid is not likely to have a negative impact on the situation of other airports. Therefore, the Commission concluded that the public support will contribute to the mobility of European Union citizens, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

Ostend-Bruges Airport

With respect to Ostend-Bruges airport, the Commission found that Belgium’s operating aid amounting to €2.3 million to the private operator of the airport is in line with EU State aid rules. The Commission assessed the measure under the EU State aid rules, in particular the 2014 Aviation Guidelines. It found that the support measure will facilitate the development of the Flemish region, without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

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