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08 April 2009
EU Regulation 793/2004, amending EU Regulation 95/1993, deals with issues relating to slots and their allocation. It focuses on the introduction of transparent and equitable procedures, particularly for the correct use of slots. Article 14(5) states that:
"member states shall ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive [penalties] or equivalent measures are available to deal with repeated and intentional operation of air services at times significantly different from the allocated slots or with the use of slots in a significantly different way from that indicated at the time of allocation, where this causes prejudice to airport or air traffic operations."
On December 22 2008 Parliament adopted a new law amending the Air Navigation Act 1937. The main purpose of the reform is to introduce a new infringement regime for misusing slots at Brussels National airport in accordance with Article 14(5). The new rules entered into force on January 8 2009.
Three different forms of conduct relating to the use of slots are now subject to penalties:
Such conduct is punishable by detention and criminal fines, as well as by a system of administrative fines introduced by the new law. The imposition of an administrative fine by a public officer of the Aviation Authority extinguishes a criminal action brought by the public prosecutor. The amounts of the criminal and administrative fines are identical.
An appeal against the decision imposed by a public officer can be lodged before the Court of First Instance within a month of the decision; the court's decision is final.
The new rules entered into force on January 8 2009.
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Pierre D Frühling