In a report titled “Airport network” in Occitania, the Regional Chamber of Accounts (CRC) believes that the nine airports in the region are too numerous and compete with each other.
The Occitan territory has nine passenger airports: Toulouse And Montpellier record nearly 10 and 2 million passengers respectively, Carcassonne, Tarbes And Perpignan around 400,000, Nimes And Béziers less than 250,000, Rodez And Castres less than 100,000 (annual traffic before the health crisis). “Most of the regional airport traffic was carried out on the platforms of Toulouse (71.5%) and Montpellier (14.4%). The seven other Occitan platforms combined provided 14% of traffic“, points out the CRC of Occitanie. Clearly, the region does not need as many airports.
Air routes compete with each other. Regarding land development lines, three connections to Paris-Orly are in service in the region and a fourth is planned. And if the connections proposed to Castres and Rodez seem to correspond to the imperatives of opening up, “the same is not true in Tarbes in competition with Pau airport (New Aquitaine region, editor’s note), which operates the link to Paris without public aid“, underlines the CRC. Moreover, “the project to create a land use planning line between Carcassonne and Paris calls for several reservations from the chamber“.
Their proximity causes “a weakness in air traffic and consequently, financial losses for operators“, summarizes Valérie Renet, president of the CRC of Occitanie, cited by France3-Occitanie. “However, these operating deficits are covered by public subsidies, that is to say that taxpayer taxes are used to balance the operation of these airports, for the benefit of low-cost companies..”