The Commission castigated Portugal for not fully complying with the decision of the Court of Justice itself, which agreed with Brussels on this matter in 2016. The Commission is filing charges again, now suggesting the imposition of a fixed-value fine of €1.8 million and a daily penalty of almost €7,5000 “if there is not full compliance by the Member State on the date on which the court issues its second judgment.”

On 2 June 2016, the court considered that Portugal did not guarantee the independence of the country’s ANA airports as coordinator of the slot allocation process of the airports of Lisbon, Porto, Madeira and Faro.

In the first complaint, the Commission alleged that the managing body of an airport may be interested in the slots being allocated to a given air carrier, even if there is not direct or indirect participation of capital of that airline.

According to the community executive, interest may result, for example, from airport space leasing contracts made between a given air carrier and the managing body, or of the latter’s claim that the airport in question become a central one of an air carrier.

The coordinator assigns the slots to air carriers and ensures, in cooperation with the managing body of the airport, that the activities of air carriers are in conformity with the slots assigned to them.

For its part, the Member State is responsible for functionally separating the coordinator of the slots of any interested party, and from that, the coordinator’s financing system must ensure its independence.

The court further considered that ANA is an interested party in term of funding, since the national slots coordination division, created within the structure of the commercial company managing the airports, has no resources.