A Positive Step Forward in Aviation - Dutch Government Reverses Schiphol Flight Cap Decision
Brussels, 15 November 2023. The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) welcomes the recent decision by the Dutch government to suspend its plan to cap flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. This decision, announced by Infrastructure Minister Mark Harbers, marks a significant moment for the aviation industry and our members.
The proposed cap, aiming to reduce approximately 9,100 flights from next summer’s schedule for noise reduction, faced strong opposition from industry stakeholders, the United States and the European Commission. The U.S. had threatened retaliation, and EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Vălean had expressed concerns over potential infringement proceedings against the Netherlands.
The EBAA, having actively participated in this case, played a significant role in voicing the concerns of the business aviation community. “This is certainly good news,” comments Róman Kok, EBAA Senior Communications Manager. “We’ve been. deeply involved in the Dutch case, advocating for our members and the broader industry. However, it’s clear that certain stakeholders like Schiphol Airport still hold misconceptions about the business aviation industry, often incorrectly perpetrating it as a primary contributor to noise and emissions issues. It is imperative that we dispel these misconceptions, affirming that such perceptions are not aligned with reality and emphasising our industry’s steadfast commitment to sustainable and responsible practices.”
The suspension of this measure is a testament to the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders who have been vocal in their opposition. Their concerns, echoed by the EBAA, have highlighted the need for more nuanced approaches to managing airport noise and environmental impacts.
The association also further iterates that reducing noise at airports isn’t solely about reducing flight slots; it involves adopting innovative strategies like constant descent approaches, optimising flight routings, and other procedural changes that can significantly mitigate noise impact while maintaining operational efficiency. These solutions are already available, thanks to the dedicated work of the European Commission and SESAR.
The EBAA remains committed to working with governments, industry partners, and regulatory bodies to promote sustainable aviation practices. We believe in the importance of maintaining a strong and efficient air transport network while also being mindful of our environmental responsibilities.