On 5 February 2015, the Danish authorities approved a financial grant to support the development of the Aarhus airport.



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Inception date: 05 Feb 2015 | Removal date: open ended

Financial grant

On 5 February 2015, the Danish authorities approved a DKK 115.08 (USD 24.23) million financial grant in the form of investment and operating aid for the airport of Aarhus. On 9 August 2017, the European Commission approved the state aid granted. The aid will support a public company, Aarhus Lufthavn A/S which owns and operates the airport. The aid measure is in force from 05.02.2015.

The aid measure includes investment aid and operating aid to the airport. Under the aid measure, funding is provided to develop "the infrastructure capacities of Aarhus Airport in order to use the airport capabilities to serve the expected passenger growth in the area, ensuring its operability and safety. The major parts of the investments are linked to the renovation of the terminal, diverse operating facilities, and access area." The operating aid is intended "to cover the operating funding gap of the current operations of Aarhus Airport."

In this context, the European Commission noted that “any undue economic advantage granted to an airport operator from public resources can strengthen the beneficiary's position vis-à-vis its competitors on the market of providers of airport services. (...)The public funding in question will be granted to Aarhus Airport only.”  The Commission also noted that "many operators are in competition for the management of airport infrastructure in Europe, including local and regional airports. In addition, airport operators compete for air carriers to operate from their airports. Aid to the operator of the Airport may therefore distort competition in the markets for airport infrastructure operation by reinforcing its economic position and by reducing business opportunities for competing airports. Therefore, the public funding under examination distorts or threatens to distort competition and affects trade between the Member States.” (par. 60-61)

Regardless, the Commission has decided not to raise objections to the aid on the grounds that “it is compatible with the internal market pursuant to Article 107(3) of the TFEU.”  

The state aid is notified under the following objective: Sectoral development.

A state act in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the financial support granted here is discriminatory.