European airport trade association (ACI Europe) revealed that the top 21 airports in the EU & European Free Trade Association (EFTA) invested more than €53 billion back into their facilities over the past 10 years – and at much less cost than some airlines have accused them.

The investment delivered an additional capacity of close to 178 million passengers – equivalent to adding an extra London-Heathrow, ParisCharles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly to the European aviation network. This additional capacity almost perfectly matched traffic growth at these 21 airports as they welcomed 168 million additional passengers in 2015, compared to 2005. This additional capacity also allowed these airports to increase their total connectivity by +51.6% and their direct connectivity by +10.7%.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI EUROPE commented: “Europe’s major airports show that airport investment is not about building Taj Mahals. It is about boosting capacity, quality and ultimately air connectivity for Europe.

With this analysis, ACI EUROPE is also correcting and responding to the extraordinary claim made by A4E (Airline For Europe) that airport charges at the top 21 EU & EFTA airports increased by +80% since 2005. Based on detailed data from its members, ACI EUROPE is setting the record straight: the reality is that charges at these airports only increased by +25.4% in real terms - less than €3 per passenger over 10 years - in return for much-improved airport services and facilities.