Cut cheap holiday flights from Schiphol, aviation think-tank says
An aviation think-tank is recommending that the number of aircraft movements at Schiphol airport be cut from a maximum 500,000 to 400,000, the Telegraaf reported on Tuesday.
This would ensure the Netherlands remained accessible to the rest of the world but that ‘Schiphol would become a more selective transit location for KLM passengers,’ Hans Buurma, chairman of the Werkgroep Toekomst Luchtvaart, told the paper.
Dutch tourists could continue to fly to the beaches of the Mediterranean but there would be an end to the ‘cheap weekends away to Prague and Barcelona offered by budget airlines’.
‘All they do is create unnecessary noise, pollution and overcrowded city centres,’ he said.
Pressure has been mounting on the government not to sanction any expansion in flights at Schiphol because of the impact on its surroundings.
The government wants to allow Schiphol airport to expand from 500,000 to 540,000 take-offs and landings a year and hopes to open Lelystad to commercial traffic later in 2020.
Last October, the Volkskrant reported that the cabinet is working on plans which would give airlines that contribute to expanding Schiphol’s worldwide network priority when slots are being assigned.
The paper says a concept version of a new white paper on aviation aims to ensure that Schiphol’s growth ‘benefits the Dutch economy’ rather than boosts cheap holiday flights to sunny destinations.
Currently, Schiphol is not allowed to ‘discriminate’ between airlines but transport minister Cora van Nieuwehuizen is looking to introduce local rules which would allow the slot coordinator to prioritise airlines with wide networks. This, in practice, would mean KLM and its partners, the Volkskrant said.
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