The State Aviation Service has published the revised draft of a document regulating the conditions for accessing the market of ground handling services at airports. The document provides for granting free access to the market of ground handling services while the original version of the document provided for holding competitions for the right to gain access to this market.

According to the document, aerodrome operators should prepare a joint draft of the general agreement for all service providers and secure its approval by the State Aviation Service. This agreement should include all the requirements of aerodrome operators to ensure flight safety and aviation security, outline the financial components of relations, the organizational requirements, and the procedure for obtaining permits by personnel and equipment.

The document provides for holding competitions only in the cases of imposition of restrictions on the direction of ground handling services at airports, which are to be initiated by airports themselves. In this case, the relevant commission of the State Aviation Service is to introduce or cancel such restrictions after conducting inspections. It is proposed that such a competition is to be held by the committee of airlines at the airport, which should include all the airlines operating regular flights to the airport and one representative of the State Aviation Service.

The original of the document stipulated that competitions could be held for the following types of ground handling services: services involving passengers and baggage, cargo, and mail; services on the apron and parking areas; services involving provision of fuel and lubricants; services involving provision of onboard catering services. However, the new version of the document reduces this list and proposes holding competitions for the right to provide the following types of services, if necessary: baggage handling, services on the apron and parking areas, provision of fuel and lubricants, and maintenance of cargo and mail.

As reported, the participants in a roundtable that took place at the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine on 3 March decided that the State Aviation Service would redraft this document, taking account of the requirements of the market and the need to bring it as close as possible to the directives of the European Union.

The provisions of the original document prompted a heated debate among the participants in the roundtable. In particular, they agreed on the need to separate the issues of certification and market access. The participants in the roundtable also considered it necessary to determine the volume of passenger traffic at airports that necessitates a competition for the right to provide ground handling services.