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Aviation sector wants ‘unsustainable’ row over Gibraltar resolved

The air transport industry has called on EU countries to resolve a deadlock over Gibraltar that is holding up European aviation agreements.

Spain’s attempt to exclude Gibraltar from the agreements has blocked important policy reforms since 2012.

In a letter to the Netherlands EU presidency and the British and Spanish governments, key players in the sector have now called for an urgent resolution.

“Unfortunately, and unacceptably, this deadlock has led to major delays in advancing some of the most important European air transport files – to the detriment of consumers,” they said in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Chronicle.

“The industry believes that this situation has now become unsustainable.”

“As recognised by the recent EU Aviation Strategy, the European air transport industry is simply too important an enabler for Europe as a whole to be adversely affected by a political dispute which it did not instigate and over which it has no control.”

Prior to 2006, the majority of EU aviation legislation suspended application to Gibraltar Airport.

But as part of the 2006 Cordoba Agreement, Spain’s PSOE government committed to stop seeking the suspension of Gibraltar airport from new EU aviation measures.

When the Partido Popular returned to government in 2011, however, Spain sought return to the pre-Cordoba situation, something the British Government will not accept.

“There was a deal that worked for everyone but Spain walked away,” a British official familiar with the dispute told the Chronicle.

 

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Photo by David Parody