Consultation on Appeals Panel Decisions on the 2019 Determination on Airport Charges at Dublin Airport.

(02 Jun 2020)

The Commission has published a consultation on proposed adjustments to the 2019 Determination pursuant to the findings of the Aviation Appeals Panel 2020. The consultation paper on the appeals panel referrals is here. The decision of the Appeals Panel in relation to daa (Dublin Airport) is here, while the decision on the Ryanair Appeal is here. The Commission’s press release is here.

Two parties, daa (Dublin Airport) and Ryanair, appealed the Determination across a range of topics. Where the panel considers that an appellant has raised sufficient grounds for it to do so, it can refer a point of appeal or a particular aspect of a point of appeal back to the Commission for review.

The panel referred one aspect of one of the daa grounds of appeal back to the Commission, a technical point in relation to the application of the Operating Cost passthrough mechanism in the price cap formulae. During the appeals process, the Commission supported the referral of this point to enable it to address the issue identified. The Commission is proposing some adjustments to the formulae to improve the mathematical application of this mechanism. This does not impact the base price caps.

The panel also referred one aspect of one of the Ryanair grounds of appeal, relating to the length of time allowed for Dublin Airport to achieve certain operating efficiency targets. Pursuant to this referral, the Commission is proposing to reduce the level of allowed operating costs in 2022 and 2023, a reduction of just under 0.5% overall across the five year period. This reduces the price cap by 13c in 2022 and 7c in 2023. There is no impact on the price caps for the other years.

The 2019 Determination, published in October 2019, pre-dates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact of the pandemic was therefore not taken into account in this appeals process. Rather, it is an issue for the Commission to consider in the first instance by way of an Interim Review of the 2019 Determination. The likelihood is that at least one such Interim Review will be required and the regulatory settlement for the later years of the period 2020-2024 will not apply in its current form. The Commission intends to issue a consultation paper on this issue in June 2020.

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