Schiphol capacity cuts could undermine Netherlands' aviation strength

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The government of the Netherlands has announced a limit of 452,500 annual aircraft movements at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, aimed at reducing noise pollution. The cap is set to take effect in the coming northern winter season, with a small increase to 460,000 next northern summer. These figures are higher than the 440,000 maximum proposed last year, but are well below the current maximum of 500,000 movements.

The announcement has provoked a robust response from the aviation industry.

The 'Balanced Approach' adopted by ICAO sets out four principles for aviation noise reduction. Aviation trade bodies argue that the decision has not followed this approach, while KLM maintains that noise targets can be achieved without capacity cuts.

The KLM hub at Schiphol has long given the Netherlands a high propensity for air travel, with consequent economic and social benefits. The capacity cuts could undermine this.

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