Many regional airports are struggling with declining freight and passenger traffic, many airports are dependent on state aid. The Brussels now wants caps. An aviation expert from Frankfurt sees the future of small airports bleak.
Given the new airport guidelines by the EU, aviation expert Yvonne Ziegler expects closure of a number of German regional airports. Half could disappear, she said in an interview with the news agency dpa.
It is crucial to a have catchment for regional airports, a population base from which they can generate a sufficient number of passengers and flights. For example, there’s Weeze airport, which is very close to the Ruhr region, is better positioned than the Hahn Airport, which lies far in the Hunsrück.
Another crucial factor is the strategy and the associated business plan. Can they successfully specialize in a market segment? Some have already done by specializing in low-cost carriers – for example, Weeze and Hahn. The precondition is that future contract conditions must be more adequate.
Ziegler thinks that half of the regional airports will disappear again in Germany and also adds that this a mostly a German problem. Across Europe, new airports have been built from the ground. An example is Valencia, where crazy investments went into an airport – and is busy in any way. Airports across Europe will disappear. One must also note that the number of commercially exploited airports in Europe has almost doubled in the last 20 years. Especially by the topic low cost. Small commercial airports that have been used previously partly military, shot up like mushrooms out of the ground. It is time that consolidation occurs.