With the privatization of Brussels Airport the Belgian government imposed a model of economic regulation in order to best represent the interests of all users and the public interest. The operation of Brussels Airport is a natural monopoly and because of its international scale it is an economic activity that is of the utmost importance for the Belgian economy.
In order to prevent any abuse, the government considered it necessary to organize administrative supervision on the airport charges levied by the private operator and on the quality of the services provided.
The operating license has been granted to Brussels Airport Company.
The shareholding of the airport operator is currently divided as follows:
owned by the Belgian State, via the Federal Participation and Investment Company (FPIM)
owned by a private consortium, composed as follows:
The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (Canada), for 51.99%;
Two investment funds managed by Macquarie (Australia), for 48.01%
This operating license contains a number of conditions and rules that the operator must comply with. The Regulatory Body ensures that these conditions and rules are respected in order to prevent abuse of the monopoly position.
Take a look at all decisions, opinions, communiqués and other documents in the airport publications
The competences of the Regulatory Body with regard to the economic regulation of Brussels Airport are as follows: (When you move over the crosses in the table you will get to see additional information. On the topics in the left column you can also click through to further information in the dictionary.)
Appeal against decisions of the Regulatory Body
The decisions of the Regulatory Body can be appealed with full jurisdiction at the Marketcourt in Brussels by both the airport manager of Brussels Airport and the airlines. Under penalty of dissolution the appeal must be lodged at the latest 30 days after notification of the decision (article 2 of the law of 9 July 2004 on several provisions).
The Regulatory Body is also active in the Thessaloniki Forum. This is a European working group, under chairmanship of the European Commission, which unites all European economic regulators for airports. On the one hand, this group has the task of advising the European Commission in the further development of the European legislation on economic airport regulation, and on the other hand it has the task of developing guidelines on various aspects of airport regulation. The ‘position papers’ adopted by the Thessaloniki Forum are available on its website (click here), or in our publication area under ‘international publications’.
With regard to the operation of Brussels Airport, the Regulatory Body has to supervise the tariffs of the regulated activities and the quality of the provided services, but it also has to investigate compliance with the terms of the operating License, where the Regulatory Body has a competence to sanction.
The Regulatory Body therefore plays a central role in the collection, processing, aggregation and distribution of reliable data, both quantitatively and qualitatively. By analogy with the legislation, the Airport Monitor includes amongst others, the developments of the airport activities (passenger and freight transport), a tariff benchmark in relation to the reference airports, the financial follow-up of the airport operator and the airlines and the follow-up of the quality indicators.
Through the Airport Monitor and its annual conversion into a monitoring report, the evolutions in the market will be clearly illustrated and analysed. Possible bottlenecks, threats and potential opportunities can thus be identified. Possibly it can also encourage market parties to improve their activities.
Some key figures (2019) on Brussels Airport:
arrives by car
arrives by train
tons of freight
The rules governing the economic regulation of Brussels Airport are listed in several royal decrees (R.D.).
- Royal decree of 27 May 2004 transforming the Brussels International Airport Company (B.I.A.C.) into a limited company of private right and regarding the airport installations
- Royal decree of 21 June 2004 granting the operating licence of Brussels Airport to the limited company B.I.A.C.
- On 15 March 2009, the European Directive 2009/12/EC on airport charges has become effective.
Apart from these regulations there are a number of documents of the International Convention on Civil Aviation (ICAO) that do not have a regulatory power but are considered to be recommendations.