Royal Schiphol Group takes stake in Maastricht-Aachen Airport; motives unclear

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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has recently had its annual movements cap reduced to 440,000 per annum, which gives it a big problem because the alternative – the opening of the general aviation Lelystad Airport to commercial flights – has been put back to 2024, at the earliest.

Now Schiphol’s owner has taken a stake – subject to ratification – in Maastricht-Aachen Airport (MAA) in the far south of the country and close to the German border.

The Netherlands' Limburg Provincial Council authorised MAA to continue operating in Jun-2022, but with the governance structure adjusted, whereby the province could no longer be the sole shareholder. Conditions included finding an 'environmentally conscious' partner to jointly to operate the airport and creating a 'generous' environmental fund. 

Taking a share in MAA, and with possibly more to come later, gives RSG the option of shifting some freight operations there in a similar manner to what Frankfurt Airport did with Hahn Airport when it part-owned it. The airport is already well geared up towards freight handling with a 2750m runway.

That will at least give RSG the option to encourage some cargo flights to operate there, at an airport that is well placed for increased trucking activities.

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