Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has considered that a reduction from 500,000 to 460,000 flights per year is a “necessary intermediate step” in order to minimise noise pollution as well as emissions.
Royal Schiphol Group, a Dutch airport management company, will be forced to cut the number of flight movements by 40,000 from the current limit of half a million. However, the airport still needs to set a timetable for the cuts, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“We are fully committed to reducing noise nuisance and emissions. In order to reconcile these concerns, it is important that a new system is put in place soon that protects local residents and offers perspective and clarity for the aviation sector,” the airport’s statement reads.
The authority has also called on the government to introduce a new system that protects local residents and provides perspective and clarity to the aviation sector. This system has been in the works for nearly ten years.
While Schiphol sees the reduction of flights as a necessary step, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has challenged the legality of mandatory flight reductions.
IATA, argued that this political decision by the Dutch government contravenes European Union Regulation 598/2014 on noise-related operating restrictions at EU airports.
The same said that the decision violates the Chicago Convention, a binding international agreement to which the Netherlands is a signatory.
Commenting on the matter, IATA General Director Willie Walsh said that the Netherlands is hindering its economy by destroying connections. According to him, the latter is doing this in violation of EU law and its international obligations.
Walsh also added that the job-destroying hostile approach to aviation that the Dutch government has taken is disproportionate to noise management.
As he explains, the Netherlands has yet to engage in meaningful consultation, as according to him, Schiphol is focused to limit flights rather than work with industry to meet targets for reducing noise and emissions, restoring employment, and revitalizing the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Moreover, IATA pointed out that the airline industry is constantly deploying quieter aircraft, reducing noise levels by 50 per cent in the last decade. At the same time, it emphasised that investment in the new fleet also plays an important role, enabling the fulfillment of the commitment of the aviation industry to reduce its CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050.
In addition, the industry’s robust CO2 reduction plan includes the sourcing of sustainable aviation fuels, of which airlines operating to and from the Netherlands have been significant users.
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