After a lengthy process the Netherlands Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen has approved the ‘local rule’ that provides better protection for cargo flights at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
The local rule regulates that non-flown slots are reissued in a season, for example due to bad weather or operational reasons, with 25 per cent of these slots being made available specifically for cargo aircraft.
In addition, this local rule gives airlines greater options to adjust their schedules without losing their historical slot rights.
Cargo flights are crucial for supporting export opportunities, the business climate, employment and network quality in the Netherlands. Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN), evofenedex and TLN have frequently argued for this scheme.
Cargo flights have been under pressure since the summer of 2017 when the airport reached the maximum of 500,000 flight movements.
As a result, stricter regulations came into effect that made it harder for cargo flights to retain historical slots rights. The consequence of this was that cargo flights were forced to move abroad and the total amount of cargo handled at Schiphol fell steadily.
Evofenedex general manager, Machiel van der Kuijl said: “Cargo flights are a crucial component for the export opportunities of Dutch companies active in the high tech, pharmaceutical and flower sectors.
“In addition, it is an important pillar under the business climate for foreign companies and the import of their goods. The approved scheme shows that our concerns are taken seriously and the added value of cargo flights for the Dutch economy is endorsed. “
ACN managing director, Maarten van As said: “This local rule is not the solution for the shortage of slots for cargo aircraft at Schiphol, among others. The demand is still greater than the supply. But the minister and Airport Coordination Netherlands are sending a positive signal to the airfreight sector that requires clarity.
“This is very good news for our members,” adds Jan Boeve, director of TLN. “For road hauliers who load the air cargo at Schiphol in the truck and transport it further into Europe. But also for Dutch freight forwarders united in FENEX, Schiphol is very important as a hub for international air freight shipments. ”
ACN, evofenedex and TLN appreciate the efforts of other parties to find a solution in a politically complex and sensitive case. The local rule will enter into force on 31 August, 2019 and will be evaluated after one year.
In the development of the aviation memorandum 2020 – 2050, ACN, evofenedex and TLN will emphasise the importance of air freight and anchor the position of cargo flights.