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7th European Aviation Conference (EAC) Ownership and Privatization of Airports, Airlines and Air Traffic Control: Getting it Right


8-9 November 2018

Conference chair:

Dimitrios Dimitriou Professor Associate, Dept of Economics, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece, member of the advisory board of EAC.

Hans-Martin Niemeier, University of Applied Sciences of Bremen, EAC Advisory Board

Conference venue:

Main Hall of Athens Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI), 6th Floor - Hall: Ermis, 7 Akadimias str, 10671 Athens, Greece

General Information

In the conference participated more than 200 attendants. The conference supported by the Hellenic Ministry of Transport, Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, Athens International Airport, Aegean Airlines, Fraport Greece, SkyExpress Airlines, Goldair Handling Greece, SwissPort Handling and many professional Associations.

The key agenda of the conference deals with:


  • Overall, has privatisation delivered in terms of performance? Has partial privatisation, popular in Europe, been successful? Airlines have become very concerned about the privatisation of airports - do they have good reason?
  • Who now owns the airports?
  • Can regulation achieve a balance between improving performance and protecting all stakeholders – especially the travelling public? How effective is competition in safeguarding customers?


  • In Europe and North America airlines are largely privately owned but limited by ownership restrictions. Who is gaining from these restrictions?
  • Who now owns the airlines, and will there be implications for competition policy?
  • Are there genuine concerns arising from state-owned airlines or are complaints about them a smokescreen for protection?

Air navigation service providers:

  • Except in the US, considerable progress has been made in separating the regulation of ATC services from their operation and in commercialisation. But overwhelmingly ATC services remain publicly-owned monopolies.
  • Will new technology, such as remote towers and SESAR/NextGen, offer the opportunity of increased competition?
  • Do those ATC companies which have been removed from public ownership offer models for others to follow? Is for-profit as found in the UK and Italy or not-for-profit as pioneered in Canada the better way forward?

Conference Material