The International Air Transport Association (IATA) criticized the decision by the French Government to allow the operator of Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Paris-Orly (ORY) airports to continue increasing airport charges for each year of the 2016-2020 period.

The French government’s decision ignores the recommendation of the independent Airport Consultative Commission. The Commission concluded that the public interest would be best served by using terminal retail activities of Aéroports de Paris (ADP) to implement annual decreases in charges to airlines over the 2016-2020 period.

“Connectivity is critical to modern economies. France is no exception. And making it more expensive at a time when improving competitiveness is a fundamental concern just does not add up. With this decision air travelers will have to reach deeper into their wallets to travel to, from and within France. In parallel, every business that in any way relies on global markets takes a hit as well. I urge the government to reconsider,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

IATA and other stakeholders demonstrated during the consultation process that a yearly decrease in airport charges would improve the attractiveness of France’s major hubs and that this would serve the interests of all involved—air travelers, ADP, and airport users. The Airport Consultative Commission, whose role is to advise the French Government on the economic regulation of airports, shared that view.

“With a sound development plan and the reintegration of the income from retail activities at the airports, user charges could be substantially decreasing every year. France’s airport infrastructure is a national asset that should be nurtured for the broad economic benefits that it catalyzes. It is deeply disappointing that the government chose to ignore this golden opportunity for a winning solution in favor of a decision that will make travel more expensive for French business and tourism,” said Tyler.