Redundancy plans for Schiphol will be postponed for another year. Outgoing infrastructure minister Mark Harpers had to withdraw part of his plan after pressure from the US and Canada and a letter from the European Commission.
Harpers sent an email on Tuesday afternoon Letter to the House of Representatives.
In the past year, before the decision, the minister filed several lawsuits against airlines that wanted to stop the reduction plans. Ultimately, the abatement plan was allowed to go ahead, but the minister prevailed. The maximum number of flights at Schiphol should be reduced from 500,000 to 460,000 next year and then to 452,000.
In recent weeks, international unrest has resurfaced over Schiphol’s shrinking after the distribution of flight slots for next year. Due to the brevity, only companies with historic rights were eligible to be located at Schiphol.
This meant that US airline JetBlue lost the opportunity to fly to Schiphol next summer. JetBlue later asked the US government to ban KLM from US airports.
Americans saw the layoff plan as discriminatory
Countries including the US and Canada expressed their concerns in Harper’s letter to Parliament. Americans called the cut plan unfair, discriminatory and anti-competitive, Harpers writes.
And the US government had also announced countermeasures. For example, starting in early November, Dutch airlines must share their flight schedules with the US government in advance. Follow-up actions may also have been in the works.
On Monday, Harpers spoke with representatives of the US government and the European Union. There, the Americans once again voiced their criticism of the reduction plan.
‘Not following EU rules’
Another reason to avoid layoffs for now is a letter from European Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Vălean, which the Ministry of Infrastructure received on Monday. According to Harpers, Valiant is expressing serious concerns about non-compliance with guidelines A balanced approachprocess.
EU rules recommend that you follow the correct sequence of steps to reduce noise pollution. Airlines should be given the opportunity to achieve this in ways other than low-flying. This is always a criticism of airlines.
According to Harper’s, Valian indicates in his letter that the European Commission may initiate proceedings for non-compliance with European regulations.
Harpers calls the decision a ‘bitter pill’
In his letter, Harpers writes that canceling the contraction for next year is “a bitter pill to swallow for the environment.” But he also writes, “The cabinet is committed to restoring the balance between Siphol and its living environment”.
The layoff plan also includes a significant reduction in the number of night flights. As this will no longer happen, Harpers has asked KLM to reduce noise pollution in the area as much as possible. KLM will therefore use a quieter aircraft for night flights from March 2024.
Schiphol sees a return of uncertainty among local residents
Schiphol itself, fully owned by the government, has always cooperated with reduction projects. The airport has responded that it is disappointing that the deal has now been postponed again. “Reducing the number of flights was not a goal, but the locals finally got clarity,” a statement from the airport said.
“Now there is uncertainty again. This is a time when local residents will experience significantly less inconvenience. The need for a night-time closure of Schiphol is even greater. And this applies to the ban and ban on private flights. Noisy flight.” , the statement said.
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