ANNOUNCEMENT 08 Jul 2013In July 2013, the government of Germany announced a change in import formalities.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Official Website of the Minister Ramsauer (German language)
On 8 July 2013, Transport Minister Ramsauer announced a regulation that would force the Austrian Airport of Salzburg to tremendously reduce the amount of in- and outbound flights over German territories. Due to the fact that the airport is surrounded by mountains, one two sides, most of the flights are channeled via the German flight path.
Minister Ramsauer stated that 90 percent of the starts and landings are executed via the northern approach flight path (German) and only 10 percent via the southern (Austrian) one. He expects these ratios to change dramatically. (Minister Ramsauer's website 8.7.2013)
According to the first draft the Northern flight path should only be used in 'particular cases' (ORF source2). The draft further implies a transitory period of 18 month, to allow for adaption. Nevertheless, the weather conditions will not allow shifting all flights from the Northern to the Southern flight path.
The Austrian authorities stated that the plans would close down the airport and negatively affect tourism as well as trade in the whole region. (ORF source)
It is very likely that the European Commission will examine the case, until then, the measure is considered potentially trade distorting.