FRAPORT Greece meeting with GA representatives

FRAPORT Greece organized a meeting with selected General Aviation (GA) representatives in Greece on September 26th 2018.

In the past AOPA Hellas had meetings with FRAPORT on May 2017 and May 2018 when the former were promised follow up discussions later in 2018.

The GA invitees to attend this time were AOPA Hellas, Chania Aeroclub, Hellenic Pilots Association, ELAO (Hellenic Aeroathletic Federation), Mitilini Aeroclub, Rhodes Aeroclub, Thessaloniki Aeroclub and Zakynthos Aeroclub.

From FRAPORT’s side the meeting was chaired by their COO Mr. Maragakis and most of their management was present from the departments of Strategy, Development, Legal and others.

FRAPORT in their invitation expressed the will to present at this meeting their plans [quote] “for a more flexible approach (for GA) as well as the framework provided in the Concession Agreement with the Greek State within which we are obliged to operate.”

The two hours’ meeting was indeed about that. GA representatives had a true and honest face to face talk with the very people who manage strategic decisions and day to day airport operations. Every single question was answered in detail and honesty by FRAPORT.

The company explained, in detail, that the Concession Agreement with the state, under which they operate - and not own - the airports, is the binding entity which heavily controls them on their operations. The agreement’s focus is in commercial traffic.

GA unfortunately is not commercial traffic. There is an auditing body in Greece, which continuously monitors the company’s adherence to the Concession Agreement and, for example, they are examined on the capacity in their aprons’ day-to-day management. If spare capacity is left for non-commercial (non considerable profit) traffic then this is dealt as a “non-compliance” by the auditing body (with the exception of state, firefighting, medevac etc. flights). Unfortunately, none of the Concession Agreement’s “composers” catered for GA traffic in these airports.

The GA representatives then went in to details of how the advent of FRAPORT in Greece has produced higher direct airport usage costs to GA. They also detailed other knock on effects that are detrimental to GA in Greece even though they were not caused directly by FRAPORT but by third parties due to FRAPORT’s operations and/or the Concession Agreement terms. Various probable solutions were put on the table; FRAPORT listened carefully and obliged to examine them.

FRAPORT, after listening to what each of the GA representatives had to say, then went on to present their plans for 2019.

Because this part of the conversation, regarding future plans, was done under an agreement that nothing leaves the room until announced, we cannot provide further details at this stage. All we can share for now is that it looks like 2019 will be a better year for GA in Greece on issues related directly to FRAPORT.

“Cautious (moderate) Optimism” is the description of what AOPA Hellas representatives felt as we left the meeting if we want to put a title to it.

AOPA Hellas

www.aopa.gr