Amsterdam: The owner of Amsterdam’s airport urged the Dutch government to provide clarity about the highly-contested plans to restrict capacity at the hub following the collapse of the ruling coalition.
Royal Schiphol Group said plans to cut capacity by 8 per cent starting this winter were at an impasse amid legal challenges to the measures by airlines as well as Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government moving into caretaker mode ahead of elections in November.
Lawmakers are due to decide on September 12 about a list of issues that will be deemed “controversial” for the current parliament and left to the next government to decide. Adding the Schiphol capacity restrictions to the controversial list will create uncertainty about the future of the hub, said Ruud Sondag, the company’s CEO.
In the absence of clarity from the government, the airport will only be able to reduce flights by a smaller 3.4 per cent to 483,000 in the next year, Sondag said.
The Dutch government wants to shrink the hub’s capacity to minimize noise, a measure that was challenged by airlines including flag carrier KLM that argued that it harms connectivity and the local economy. An appeals court in July gave the green light to the Dutch government to scale back the number of flights at the hub, although the airlines have said they will appeal the verdict.