EU: state aid for airports OK if temporary

European Commission says state aid is acceptable for airports and airlines if temporary

Associated Press
EU: state aid for airports OK if temporary
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European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia addresses the media, at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, July 3, 2013. The European Commission says states should be allowed to support airports and new airline routes with taxpayer money, if the aid is temporary in nature. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- The European Commission says states should be allowed to support airports and new airline routes with taxpayer money — if the aid is temporary in nature.

The commissioner for competition, Joaquin Almunia, outlined the guiding principles to reporters in Brussels Wednesday. First, he said, state aid must address a clear transport need, such as making an area more accessible. Second, an airport or new airline route must be able to become economically viable in a relatively short period of time.

Under current rules, airports are not allowed to receive operating support from governments.

The new rules, if adopted, will go into effect in 2014.

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