The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued a press release to express discontent with the caretaker Dutch government’s decision to cut flights at Schiphol airport.
According to this decision, flights will be reduced to 460,000 annually for the summer season of 2024 and 452,000 for the winter of 2024, as the government intends to reduce the noise caused by aircraft movements and is impacting the quality of life for residents.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, has noted that this decision will impact the Dutch economy and aviation workers and the institution will take the matter to legal instances to represent all those affected by the decision.
“By ramming this action through in its last weeks in office, the caretaker government is hurting the Dutch economy and aviation workers without due consideration of alternatives that could reduce noise without sacrificing livelihoods. We will continue to fight this decision in the Courts, alongside and on behalf of the global airline community, travellers, and those who rely on aviation,” Walsh said in a press release.
He also pointed out that IATA’s stance regarding this decision is not directed towards the efforts to reduce noise, highlighting that airlines should work on the issue and they have plans and investments to implement such a measure.
However, according to Walsh, this counter-response is about ensuring that the lawful internationally agreed process for managing noise is respected so that benefits generated by Schiphol can be safe for the Dutch people as a whole.
The final package of measures includes changes like using devices that are quiet, especially during the nighttime, limiting the use of runways and reducing the number of flights by thousands of flight movements.
“Aviation brings a lot of great things to the Netherlands, provided that attention is also paid to the negative effects for the people living around the airport. Today, we present the measures that can be introduced in 2024 to reduce noise pollution, as announced last year,” the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Mark Harbers, said.
Same as IATA, ACI Europe, the association of airport operators, criticised the move and raised matters on how the measure will impact air travelling next year.
Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe, said that these decisions are being made for electoral purposes as the national elections are expected to be held soon. Jankovec also urged the EU Commission to reinforce the respect of the new Balance Approach principles within respective governments.