Establishment of new aviation fees
The Italian Civil Aviation Authority published the new regulated fees for 2019 in October, following the conclusion of the airport user consultation process launched in July 2018.
The new rates entered into effect on January 1, 2019 and represent an average increase of 0.2% compared to 2018, below the inflation rate planned of 1.2%, as stated in the Update to the 2018 Economy and Finance Document, published by the Italian Ministry of the Economy and Finance in September 2018).
Revision of airport fee regulation models
On September 13, 2018 the Transport Regulation Authority published Resolution No. 84, announcing the launch of the procedure for revising the current airport fee regulation models (approved by resolution no. 92/2017). Through this procedure, the Authority aims to assess whether it is advisable to make changes to regulatory parameters governing: (i) the efficiency and elasticity of operating costs; (ii) the optimal use of airport capacity; (iii) the treatment of commercial margins; (iv) the tariff consequences of incentives for flight operations; (v) the definition of the plans relating to new airport infrastructure projects; (vi) airports with traffic of less than one million annual passengers and airport networks; (vii) the rate of return on invested capital; and (viii) regulatory accounting.
In this regard, the Authority has asked all Italian airport management companies, SEA included, for a series of historical economic and technical data (traffic figures, operating and infrastructure information and details of the quality of service provided), with the aim of assessing any regulatory changes in application of the regulation impact assessment method employed by the Authority.
Consultation on the new regulatory models is expected to begin in the spring and the deadline for the conclusion of the procedure has been set as September 30, 2019.
SEA does not apply the ART’s regulation models since it is regulated by the Supplementary Regulatory Agreement entered into with ENAC in 2011, pursuant to Article 17, paragraph 34-bis of Decree-Law No. 78/2009, as converted with amendments by Law 102 of August 3, 2009.
New significant domestic and EU regulations
At the level of the Community regulatory framework, the European Commission – DG MOVE – continued the process of assessing Directive 2009/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 11, 2009 on airport charges, which had been ongoing since 2016.
In the first half of 2018, the Commission launched a public consultation addressed to all European citizens generally and logically aimed at completing the process (of a more technical nature and more specifically targeted at industry operators) already begun with the Inception Impact Assessment (IIA). Additional phases of the Impact Assessment process proper are expected for early 2019. On the basis of the most recent available information, DG MOVE decided to publish a package on aviation that will include the final report on the assessment of the directive on airport charges, the study of “Taxes in the Aviation Industry and their Impact” and the report on social questions in air transport. During the same period, the Commission is expected to verify possible approaches to intervention by the European Union, which could lay the groundwork for future economic regulations for airports. SEA will continue to monitor this process, both directly and through Italian and European industry associations.
The New Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers No. 76/2018, “Regulation on the execution, types and size thresholds for works subject to public debate”, which entered into force on August 24, identifies the types of works for which it will be mandatory to involve citizens in public debate – a form of consultation that occurs before projects assume their definitive form. The following are subject to public debate, subject to precise size and financial limits: motorways and intercity roadways, railway lines, airports, commercial seaports, navigable waterways and freshwater ports, shipping terminals, work to protect the sea and coasts, intermodal freight hubs, overhead power lines, long-term water retention, regulation or storage facilities and systems for transferring water between regions.
In the case of airports, such works must involve new passenger or cargo terminals, new runways with a length of over 1,500 m and an overall investment of more than Euro 200 million, net of VAT, associated with all planned contracts. Public debate, which lasts four months (but in cases of demonstrated need may be extended by an additional two months), occurs in the initial phases of planning of the technical and economic feasibility plan or the feasibility document for project alternatives. If debate is launched at the specific request of the administrations or citizens involved, or occurs at the specific behest of the awarding administration or authority, public debate may not be held after the commencement of definitive planning.
Legislative Decree No. 65/2018, “Implementation of Directive (EU) No 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 6, 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union” transposing Directive (EU) No 2016/1148 (known as the “Network and Information Security Directive” or “NIS Directive”) concerning the security of network and information systems in the Union entered into effect on last June 24. The Decree has three main goals:
- promoting a culture of risk management and reporting of incidents among the main economic actors, and in particular operators that provide services essential to the maintenance of economic and social activities and providers of digital services;
- improving cyber-security capabilities;
- enhancing cooperation at the national and EU level.
With the aim of ensuring the continuity of essential services (energy, transport, health, finance,...) and digital services (search engines, cloud services, e-commerce platforms), the Decree provides for technical and organisational measures intended to reduce risk and limit the impact of information technology incidents and the obligation to report incidents with a significant impact on the provision of services. The text also identifies the responsible “NIS” authorities and their duties, carried out in cooperation with the equivalent authorities in the other Member States, as well as the Italian national Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), which has duties of a technical nature relating to preventing and responding to information technology incidents, carried out in cooperation with the other European CSIRTs. Annex II to the Decree identifies essential service providers, which also include airport managers.
SEA and SEA Energia’s qualification as Existing Systems Equivalent to Efficient Systems for Users (SEESEU)
Efficient Systems for Users (SEU or SEESEU) are simple production and consumption systems consisting of a production facility and a consumption unit that are directly linked by a private connection, without an obligation to connect third parties, in which the producer and end client are the same legal entity or legal entities belonging to the same corporate group.
On May 8, 2017 GSE (the Electricity Services Operator) definitively issued SEESEU certification for both the Linate and Malpensa airports.
Obtaining the SEU or SEESEU qualification entails maintaining favourable tariff conditions on self-produced electricity, with high efficiency and not drawn from the electricity grid and limited to the variable parts of the general system and network charges, as envisaged by Legislative Decree No. 115/08 and Article 25-bis of Decree-Law No. 91/14 converted with Law No.116/14.
By ARERA resolution no. 680/2018 of December 18, 2018, the deadline for opting for CDS or SEESEU status (previously set at December 31, 2018) was extended to July 1, 2019. Accordingly, the SEA Group must make its decision by the above deadline.
At the reporting date, SEA had yet to make a final decision.