Holiday company Arke has been banned from offering trips to Aruba and Curaçao via Eindhoven airport later this year because of the risk that drug smugglers will use the flights.
MPs and Eindhoven council had earlier expressed concerns about the plans, saying the flights will bring ‘major drugs-related safety risks’ to the region.
Justice minister Ard van der Steur said in a briefing to MPs on Monday that flights from Aruba and Curaçao may only land at airports with the facilities to inspect all passengers and their luggage, in what are known as 100% controls.
Ministry officials said in a confidential report earlier this year that the cost of checking passengers for drugs will run into tens of millions of euros.
People flying to the Netherlands from the former Dutch colonies, Suriname and Venezuala currently undergo major body checks at Schiphol airport to ensure they are not smuggling cocaine.
Arke had planned to run two flights a week to Aruba and Curaçao from November. Passengers who have already booked will be offered alternatives, the airline said, adding that it is ‘very disappointed’ by the decision.
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