Air cargo contributes relatively largely to the economy and prosperity of the Netherlands, two separate studies have revealed. The conclusions were communicated by the minister for Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen in a letter to the Parliament.
The first of the studies, presented last July, assesses the economic contribution of air cargo at Schiphol in terms of employment and added value. It concludes that the impact on employment of
air cargo on the wider community around Schiphol is some 30,000 active persons. The added value is calculated at 2.7 million euros, making air cargo account for 25% of the total economic
contribution of the entire Schiphol Airport product.
The so-called ‘prosperity contribution’ was examined in the second study, concluded last month. It was assessed through the costs – 480 million euros – the Netherlands would have to bear in the hypothetical situation that all cargo flights at Schiphol would cease to exist.
Drop of 280,000 tonnes
Without these cargo flights air cargo to and from the Netherlands would drop by 15% or 280,000 tonnes. Ms van Nieuwenhuizen concedes that, at first glance, the said 480 million seems relatively low compared to the prosperity contribution of passenger flights. “On the other hand, it is generated by a considerable smaller number of flights and therefore the average prosperity contribution per cargo flight is larger than its counterpart for passenger flights.”
“That Schiphol is an attractive cargo airport is also due to the combination of cargo flights and belly freight,” she stresses, allowing fast and efficient onward transport. So, according to the minister, the air cargo research has revealed that air cargo has a relatively large contribution on the economy and prosperity of the Netherlands.
Optimising the space
“At the same time, I notice that the number of cargo flights in 2018 and 2019 has fallen by 10% and 13% (January through September) respectively and that cargo flights have been diverted to Brussels and Liege. This is another consequence of the slot scarcity at Schiphol,” the politician stated.
“This is the reason why I, together with industry stakeholders, am exploring the possibilities of optimising this scarce capacity within the framework of the EU Slot Resolution.” These considerations are part of the aviation policy paper. Apart from this, at this very moment Schiphol is examining if it is possible to create additional space for cargo flights within the existing legal framework.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels