Maastricht Aachen Airport will not be shut down, provided a number of preconditions are met, the Provincial States of the (Dutch) province of Limburg have decided. The decision is applauded by the business community.
The provincial government, to date the sole shareholder of the airport, will have to draw up an effective business plan by 31DEC22. It will need to guarantee that the number of residents severely
disturbed by the airport operations will be brought down from 5,600 on 01JAN25, to 5,230 on 01JAN30 and 4,200 on 01JAN35.
Another firm precondition is the provision of generous funding to reduce the nuisance for the residents through additional housing insulation as well as for buying out housing located too close to the airport.
The funding is to be provided by the province, the state, the surrounding municipalities, and the enterprises. The province is to contribute at least 8.75 million euros. A third precondition stipulates the deployment of less noisy aircraft and the drawing up of a scheme to ban the noisiest ones, by implementing higher fees.
Schiphol will have to come aboard
The provincial government has also been entrusted with the task of finding a solid collaborative partner for the airport at short notice. In this respect, talks are being held with Schiphol Group.
The business case also has to clearly define how sustainability will be implemented, both at the airport and in the adjacent maintenance companies. This strategy must be supported by an investment plan, clarifying the cost allocated to the province. In any case, a 30-year loan of 35 million euros for the indispensable construction of a new runway is part of this plan.
The Dutch business community, represented by Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN), Fenex (freight forwarders), and Transport & Logistiek Nederland (TLN, logistic enterprises) is relieved by the decision to keep Maastricht open, in spite of the conditions. “This decision is important for the air cargo industry in the Netherlands and for the companies operating in a global environment,” it says in a joint statement.
“The airport is - apart from Schiphol - the only alternative for the Dutch air cargo chain. The demand for air cargo is huge and the air mode has proved to be very important and reliable during the Corona era. According to ACN, Fenex, and TLN, a financially sound and sustainable future for Maastricht is within reach.”
Marcel Schoeters in Maastricht
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