The Dutch Airport intends to close Schiphol Airport between midnight and 5 a.m. The curfew that will be implemented in the coming two years, is part of the Dutch Government’s agenda to cut down noise pollution along with CO2 emissions. In addition, private jets and very noisy aircraft shall be banned altogether. Meanwhile, Airport Hahn concludes ownership change.
Basically, this intent had emerged already last June. At that time, the government in The Hague published plans to cap the number of annual flights from 500,000 to 440,000, justifying the move on
environmental grounds so that the Netherlands could meet the targets standing in the Paris climate accord. Confronted with this figure, Schiphol's management demanded that the government revise
its decision and allow 460,000 flights. But since then, the discussion has been simmering between all parties with no ultimate decision.
Lights go out at midnight
Until now, when the next harsh traffic restriction hitting Schiphol’s air operations was announced: the nightly closure of AMS, one of the leading European gateways. Neither the government nor the airport management have yet delivered a specific date. However, the measure is to be realized no later than 2025 or 2026, in line with targets to achieve structural reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution.
In addition, the airport intends to ban private planes and small business aircraft, Amsterdam Schiphol CEO, Ruud Sondag confirmed to local media.
Airlines are not amused
Sensing trouble, airlines have already voiced harsh criticism of the expected restrictions prior to the current decision.
Above all, Dutch home carrier, KLM, and its close U.S. ally, Delta Air Lines, but also budget carrier easyJet, and leisure airline, TUI. Their main argument: by investing huge amounts to operate the newest and technically most advanced commercial aircraft models available in the market, they live up to their responsibility for less CO2 emissions and noise pollution.
Yet, their arguments do not seem to have impressed the government, as the now announced night flight ban illustrates.
Provided the curfew scheme will not be amended, particularly cargo carriers operating at Schiphol fear grave disadvantages, making the airport less attractive for charter traffic, as well. Amsterdam-based KLM, but also other network carriers, might need to thin out their flight schedules because the operational reductions limit rotation options, making some passenger or cargo traffic commercially unattractive.
And as for private flights, the airport says that between 30% and 50% of that traffic consists of journeys to Ibiza, Majorca, or Cannes. “There are sufficient scheduled flights to these destinations most frequently served by private jets,” Schiphol’s management maintains.
Hahn Airport sold
As indicated in the last issue of CargoForwarder Global, TRIWO AG, owned and headed by Peter Adrian, has purchased the airport for an undisclosed amount. It must, however, have been more than the €20 million offered by Russian tycoon, Victor Kharitonin, in his first bid. Insolvency administrator, Jan Markus Plathner confirmed that the purchase price surpassed that of Kharitonin and has already been transferred by TRIWO to an escrow account. He also confirmed that all 400 employees will be taken over by the buyer. Flight operations will continue under the insolvency proceedings until the contractual conditions are met and will be taken over by TRIWO AG. This is expected to take place within a few weeks, following the formal conclusion of the insolvency proceedings.
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