Irony of ironies, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is angry that flights will not be cut next summer after the Dutch government abandoned its controversial plans to reduce flights.
Dutch Government Has Change OF Heart – No Flights Cuts At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Yet)
The Dutch cabinet recently announced plans to massively reduce flights at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) next summer in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
Established carriers stood to gain while more recent entrants to the market, like JetBlue, stood to lose the ability to serve AMS completely. While KLM bitterly protested the flight cap, as a “historical carrier” it stood to gain from these measures via reduced competition.
After the US threatened retaliatory action and the European Commission expressed doubts over the lawfulness of the flight caps, the plan was scrapped.
Interim Infrastructure Minister Mark Harbers wrote:
“As previously reported, Canada and the United States have expressed concerns about the capacity reduction at Schiphol. We have also received signals of concern from other countries.
“In addition, a letter was received on November 13, 2023 from the European Commissioner for Transport, Ms. Vălean, which conveys serious concerns about the failure to follow the balanced approach procedure for the implementation”
That’s not to say these flight caps won’t ever return, but a least the 425,000 flight limit in 2024 will be raised back up to 500,000. Even so, Harbers expressed a desire to move forward with caps in other ways:
“The government is therefore determined to continue the balanced approach procedure to reduce noise pollution and to record this in regulations.”
Schiphol Airport Not Happy
You would think this news would make Schiphol Airport rejoice. After all, the airport sustains itself with flights. One might imagine that an airport would seek for greater connectivity and cheaper pricing via more flights for its passengers.
But not Schiphol. The airport lamented the bad news, expressing “disappointment” and sadness for local residents.
Today it was announced that the Dutch government is suspending the Experimental Ruling. Schiphol is disappointed by the recent developments, as local residents are getting the short end of the stick. Reducing the number of flights is not a goal in itself for us, but the Experimental Ruling did provide clarity and certainty for local residents. Moreover, according to Schiphol, falling back on ‘anticipatory enforcement’ leads to more uncertainty, including for the aviation sector itself. It is time that hindrance for local residents is noticeably reduced. The importance of a night closure of Schiphol is now becoming even more imminent. This also applies to the other measures in our 8-point plan, such as the ban on private flights and the banning of the noisiest aircraft.
Here’s a thought: Schiphol Airport is 100 years old. Those who live there knew what they were getting themselves into.
As One Mile At A Time wryly notes the following tension:
- Schiphol Airport is owned by Royal Schiphol Group
- Royal Schiphol Group is owned by the government
- So why is the airport expressing disappointment in the government (itself)?
The Dutch government has suspended its plan to implement mandatory flight cuts at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. While that is great news for consumers, the government has suggested it will continue to look for ways to cut flights…so this issue is not over.
As I said on X, maybe instead of lamenting about having to offer more flights, AMS should work on improving the passenger experience…
Maybe instead of whining about how your flights (i.e. source of sustainment) won’t be cut, you should work on improving the passenger experience? 💡 https://t.co/y4wh7pU9x9
— Matthew Klint – Live And Let's Fly (@LiveandLetsFly) November 14, 2023