Decisions on Swedavia's Airport Charges
The Swedish Transport Agency (STA) has rejected Swedavia's decision on Airport Charges 2017. In a parallel decision the Administrative Court has ruled against the appeal on Swedavia's airport charges 2016. Consequently, Swedavia's airport charges of 2016 will continue to be in effect until a new price decision is made.
Swedavia's charges decisions of 2016 and 2017 were both appealed against by the airport users. The STA decided in favour of Swedavia in 2016, including the question regarding financing of investments and the method for deciding Swedavia's capital cost (WACC). The decision was appealed by the airport users to the Administrative Court in Linköping, which in a ruling of 19 May this year approves the STA's judging, thus confirming the decision in favour of Swedavia. The airport users has in turn appealed the decision to the Administrative Court of Appeal. If a leave of appeal is granted, a verdict can expected at earliest during the first half of 2018.
Swedavia's charges decision of 2017 however has been rejected by the STA in a decision dated 24 May. The decision is motivated by an assessment of Swedavia's capital cost being too high, due to an overestimated market risk (beta value). The STA also rejects Swedavia's proposal of retroactive charges adjustments in relation to deviations from forecasted investments.
Swedavia has filed an appeal against the STA's decision in order to attain clarity in on what grounds the investment deviation mechanism is rejected. The appeal also covers the issue of Swedavia's capital cost, where the STA has reached a different conclusion this year than it made last year based on a new European guideline from December 2016. The fact that the STA's decision of 2017 is differing from the conclusion the Administrative Court reached in its verdict on the same issue for 2016 underlines the importance for Swedavia to have the question examined.
Although the STA rejects the charges decision of 2017, it also decides in favour of Swedavia in four of the six appealed matters. Swedavia is considered to fulfil the requirements of transparency towards the users in charges consultations, and the proposed volume based discount is approved. Further, it is made clear that difference in charges between Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Bromma Stockholm Airport cannot be disallowed and that the STA will only examine the charges level on airports covered by the Act on Airport Charges, currently Stockholm Arlanda and Göteborg Landvetter Airport.
The STA's decision of 2017 means that Swedavia's charges of 2016 will continue to be in effect until a new charges decision is made. The process for consultations will be initiated shortly and a new charges decision will be made this autumn, with new charges scheduled to be applied 1 January 2018.
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