Airport charges are fees levied for the landing, take-off (including noise and emissions) and parking of aircraft as well as for the use of passenger facilities. They are used exclusively to refinance airport infrastructure and the operating expenses that this entails. In Germany, airport charges are subject to the approval requirement set out in paragraph 19b of the German Air Traffic Act (LuftVG). The regional aviation authority responsible for Frankfurt Airport is the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Housing
(HMWEVW). Moreover, annual consultations and other events are held to involve the airlines prior to approving such charges.
On November 11, 2019, the HMWEVW approved the application for charges for Frankfurt Airport, along with the incentive programs it contains. The charging structure was upheld on January 1, 2020, and – with the exception of adaptions to the noise-related landing and take-off charges – no structural changes were made.
The sole adjustment was an increase in noise-related charges. The amounts added to the noise-related charges at nighttime were also increased – from 50 percent to 65 percent for nighttime period 1 and from 200 percent to 300 percent for nighttime period 2. Additionally, surcharges for aircraft that either comply with or fall short of the certifications listed in Annex 16 Volume I Part II Chapter 3 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation were implemented and any existing surcharges amended (graded surcharges from 30 to 250 percent). Fraport is thus continuing its mission to champion “low-noise” flying. The principle of classification based on the level of noise actually measured still applies, with the average level of aircraft noise measured at Frankfurt Airport between 2016 and 2018 used as a basis for calculating noise components. Certain aircraft were reclassified as a result of the calculation basis being updated, and classifications of new aircraft were added.
The established FRA incentive model remains in place and seeks specifically to lay the foundations for continuous and sustainable traffic growth, while striving to keep Frankfurt Airport’s noise footprint at a low level. It offers incentives for airlines to increase connectivity in intercontinental traffic and to increase services to European destinations from Frankfurt Airport.
The GBAS program is being continued in 2020, which incentivizes another technical innovation at Frankfurt Airport. The Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) is a navigation system based on the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) that enables satellite-supported precision approaches, which can also reduce the noise footprint.
An online calculation tool for airport charges (valid from January 1, 2020) is available here.