Gdynia airport must pay back unjustified state aid

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Polish authorities have been ordered to recover public funding granted to Gdynia airport after ruling that the finance breaches European state-aid rules.

The European Commission has determined that the expenditure cannot be justified because the region is already served adequately by Gdansk airport.

Gdynia airport's authorities must pay back nearly 22 million ($30 million) because state-aid rules forbid using funds to duplicate infrastructure where demand is insufficient.

After the local municipalities of Gdynia and Kosakowo had notified the Commission of capital injections to the airport, the Commission determined that projected traffic and revenues were "not realistic" because Gdansk airport, just 25km away, was not congested.

"Under these circumstances, no private player would have accepted to invest on the same conditions," it says. Polish authorities must recover €21.8 million to alleviate distortion of competition created by the aid.