Eindhoven city council officials are ‘extremely worried’ about plans by holiday company Arke to offer trips to Aruba and Curacao via Eindhoven airport later this year.
Such flights will bring ‘major drugs-related safety risks’ to the region, Eindhoven mayor Rob van Gijzel has told justice minister Ard van der Steur.
Van Gijzel, who wrote to the minister on the request of the city council, said officials expect all passengers on these flights and their luggage to be checked. This will take up police capacity and must not have an impact on their current activities, the mayor said.
In addition, flights to the islands are not of ‘economic importance’ to the region, he said.
In May, television current affairs show Nieuwsuur said civil servants from three different ministries are pressuring the cabinet to stop Arke offering the flights.
The officials say in a confidential report that the cost of checking passengers for drugs will run into tens of millions of euros. In addition, the equipment needed to carry out ‘100% checks’ will not be ready in time for the first flights.
People flying between the former Dutch colonies and the Netherlands currently undergo major body checks at Schiphol airport to ensure they are not smuggling cocaine.
Arke plans to run two flights a week to Aruba and Curacao from November.
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