Dutch Authorities Cutting Amsterdam Schiphol Flights For Environmental Purposes
The Dutch government has taken an important decision concerning the operational capacities of the busiest airport in the country, the Amsterdam Schiphol airport.
The maximum number of flights per year will be reduced by 23% which will decrease the number to 440,000 flights. The ultimate aim of this action will be noise and air pollution reduction. This decision will be in effect starting November 2023
“Considering the public interests involved, the government has decided to prioritise tackling noise nuisance, while ensuring that the airport can continue to fulfil its economic role,” according to the statement for the authorities.
This decision derives from the original declaration of Schiphol airport to reduce the number of travellers transiting through that airport due to a lack of security employees.
“I want to offer certainty, including about the future, to the aviation sector and those who live in the vicinity of the airport.”
“This decision serves as a foundation for establishing a new balance. It’s difficult news for the aviation sector, which is still recovering from the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very much aware of this. We will now be fleshing out the details of our decision on the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, together with local residents and aviation stakeholders.”
Airport officials at Schiphol issued a statement in reaction to the news.
“Together with the airlines, we will consult with the cabinet to contribute to such a well-thought-out approach. The plans of the cabinet as presented now lead to great uncertainty and much remains unclear.”
“We see that major risks are being taken with regard to the quality of the network. There is also the risk that going back to the old noise system would mean a shift in noise nuisance that would not be beneficial to the surrounding communities.”
The Dutch company KLM described its “surprise” towards such measures which are “highly detrimental and not in line with the coalition agreement between the ruling parties”.
Also expressing astonishment was Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). “This sudden decision is a shocking blow to aviation, jobs, and the economy of the Netherlands. It comes on top of a tripling of the passenger tax, and a 37% rise in airport charges. We are seeing a throttling of air connectivity which has been steadily built up for 100 years, and supported large parts of the Dutch economy and the aspirations of millions of Dutch travelers.”
“When governments shut down aviation in the pandemic, we all saw the terrible impact that it had on people in the Netherlands and its economy. Downsizing Schiphol will permanently destroy jobs that are only now recovering. Moreover, without the possibility to grow at Schiphol, businesses in the Netherlands will need to evaluate their future in an economy that will be moving from global gateway to regional center.”
The government also declared that a decision on the opening of Lelystad Airport will not be made until the summer of 2024. It was said that this is contingent upon obtaining a nature permit and resolving the issue of low approach routes.
Source : Business Travellers