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Brussels, 8 October 2009

Groundhandling market at Community airports: the Commission sends reasoned opinion to Latvia

The European Commission today launched legal proceedings against Latvia for failure to notify any transposition of the directive on market opening for groundhandling services. Groundhandling services cover a wide range of activities at airports, from passenger check-in, to aircraft fuelling, including catering or baggage handling.

Directive 96/67/EC 1 requires Member States to take all necessary measures to open up the groundhandling market at big airports. In turns, it ensures that airlines can select their groundhandling supplier according to their needs.

In the absence of satisfactory reply from Latvia within two months, the Commission would then refer the case to the Court of Justice, which opens the litigation procedure.

Legislation implementing the directive will be subject to further examination as to whether it conforms to the European rules and whether it fully transposes them. However for the Commission to fulfil this task Member States must cooperate and provide all requested information.

More information on the current developments in airports in the EU can be found on the Commission's website for air transport:

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