Green light for the new Portuguese airport regulation model

The launch of a new regulatory framework brings closer a new Lisbon airport

The launch of a new Airport Economic
Regulatory Framework (AERF) has
clarified many of the operational issues
surrounding ANA – Aeroportos de
Portugal ahead of its planned partialprivatisation,
and helped further clear
the way for Lisbon’s new international
airport, says António Moura Portugal,
partner with ABBC.

“The framework is significant in that it
responds to calls by airlines and
operators to bring new regulation and
an empowered regulatory authority to
the sector. The existing Civil Aviation
Authority (INAC) has long lacked the
necessary power, personnel and
resources, while ANA has for too long
operated in a monopolistic fashion with
reduced accountability.”

The AERF reinforces the powers of
the INAC as well as clarifying the role
and responsibilities of ANA ahead of the
construction of the planned €3.3bn new
international airport, which is expected
to come into service in 2017 and handle
as many as 22 million passengers a year.

“The framework enables the
Government to plan for the future, to
bring new investment into the sector,
and clarify the rules of the game for
those interested in tendering and
running the new airport scheme,” he

El lanzamiento de un nuevo
marco de regulación
económica (ERF) ha
aclarado muchas de las
cuestiones legales a las que
ANA – Aeroportos de
Portugal se estaba
enfrentando con su
proyectada privatización, y
ha allanado el camino para
el nuevo aeropuerto
internacional de Lisboa, dice
António Moura Portugal,
socio de ABBC.

Among the major changes introduced
by the AERF is the removal of ANA’s
previous division of commercial and
aviation revenues to create a single till
model from which all future investments
and costs will be financed, the setting of
charges stability through time and the
establishment of quality benchmarks.

What is evident also, says Moura
Portugal, is that the future will bring
more competition among airports and
that the level of charges and the quality
of service will be key factors to attract
new customers and to maintain the
existing users. The challenge is to ensure
that Portugal’s airports remain
competitive and attractive for all carriers
to use.

“The privatisation of ANA remains
delayed, but the new framework
clarifies what is expected of it going
forward in terms of definition of the
activities subject to regulation – and
most importantly in terms of indicators
of services’ quality – the role it will play
in co-ordinating Portugal’s existing
airports and in the operation of the new
Lisbon airport,” he says.