Airport charges are fees levied for landing, take-off (including related noise and emissions) and parking of aircraft as well as for the use of passenger facilities. They are used solely to refinance airport infrastructures and the resulting operating expenses. In Germany, airport charges are set out in paragraph 19b of the German Air Traffic Act (LuftVG) and are subject to approval by the regional Aviation Authority. The government authority responsible for Frankfurt Airport is the Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development (HMWEVL). Besides, the airlines are consulted annually prior to determining airport charges.
On December 1, 2016 the Hessian Ministry of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development (HMWVL) approved the application for charges for Frankfurt Airport, along with the incentive programs it contains.
These charges were raised by 1.9 percent effective January 1, 2017. The new airport charges were applied exclusively by means of increased noise charges. Consequently, the percentage of noise charges in the entire airport charges increased from 14 percent in 2016 up to 16 percent in 2017. This is a continuation of Fraport's “low-noise” course. The charging structure itself remained. For the years 2018 and 2019 the airport charges remain unchanged.
The approved FRA incentive model makes for continuous and sustainable traffic growth, while contributing to further reducing Frankfurt Airport’s noise footprint. It encourages airlines to increase connectivity in intercontinental traffic and to upgrade continental traffic services from FRA. The incentive model is intended both for existing carriers and for new airlines. Among other things, Fraport helps to minimize market entrance risks for growth on new routes. This is achieved by applying temporal and degressive incentives.
Furthermore, the charges system incentivizes the use of GBAS for landings as another technical innovation at Frankfurt Airport. The Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) is a navigation method based on the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) that applies to precision approach landing of aircraft though the use of satellite-based broadcast messages. One side effect of the system is a further reduction of aircraft noise.