Obligation to provide transport services on five domestic air routes
The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom has decided to impose a public service obligation on five domestic routes. These obligations will concern the routes from Helsinki to Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kokkola-Pietarsaari, Kemi-Tornio and Kajaani airports between 1 April and 31 December 2021.
The purpose of the public service obligation is to safeguard the connections between Helsinki and these five regions in the current situation. An obligation to provide transport services will also be imposed regarding Savonlinna. Supporting domestic air transport and imposing a service obligation are possible under the EU Regulation on common rules for the operation of air services.
"At Traficom, we find the imposition of a public service obligation on these five routes currently necessary to safeguard economic and social development in the regions," says Director Pipsa Eklund.
Traficom intends to organise a tendering process to select an air operator on which a public service obligation can be imposed for these routes. All EU air carriers which find themselves able to provide a service meeting the public service obligation criteria can participate in the tendering process. Traficom has provided the necessary information on the tendering process to the European Commission and, once the invitations to tender have been published, will communicate about this immediately.
The tendering process is underpinned by an additional appropriation of EUR 11.5 million for air transport in Parliament's supplementary budget
While the public service obligation has been under preparation, Traficom has had intensive discussions with regional representatives, and the special features of the regions regarding passenger profiles and travel needs have been addressed. The service level to be procured has been determined on the basis of these features and put in proportion to the available appropriation.
Air transport will be an important link in future travel chains
"In the future, digitalisation and servicification will be increasingly important in mobility, and we believe that air traffic will have a strong position in this development. As future travel chains develop, they will effectively and reliably combine the roles of the current airports and such innovations as air taxis with other modes of transport,” says Deputy Director-General Jarkko Saarimäki.
Among other things, digitalisation makes it possible to safely improve the use of airspace even as the number of users goes up, which creates growth and new business opportunities. More accurate positioning also promotes not only unmanned aviation but also the operating preconditions of more traditional aviation, for example in bad weather conditions. Technological advancement, on the other hand, will bring aeroplanes with alternative fuels to the skies.
Public Procurement of Air Services (External link) (in Finnish)
Pipsa Eklund, Director, pipsa.eklund(at)traficom.fi, tel. +358 29 534 5396