Businesses, community activists and trade bodies in the Netherlands have come together to launch campaign ‘Red Schiphol,’ in response to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport’s move to set a cap on the number of flights going in and out of the airport.
In June last year, the Schiphol Airport set a cap on the number of passengers – 70,000 passengers a day, it can handle during the summer travel season due to labor shortages.
In February this year, the government proposed a cap of 440,000 flights a year in an effort to reduce noise pollution and to be environmentally-friendly. The move by one of Europe’s busiest airports means that airlines including KLM, the Dutch subsidiary of Air France-KLM , will have to cancel an unspecified number of flights.
Now, a collaborative effort by Dutch businesses and citizens aims to reverse the decision with the reasoning that limiting the flights to Schiphol will simply divert the traffic to other airports, and do little to reduce aviation emissions. It will also potentially affect the 84,000 jobs that could be jeopardized if Dutch air travel was weakened.
“Schiphol Airport is a national asset that helps the Netherlands to punch above its weight in terms of global business connectivity,” said George Chichester, Red Schiphol Campaign Manager. “The airport directly employs over 2,000 people and supports many more jobs throughout the wider economy.”
For context, prior to the pandemic, the aviation industry contributed €22 billion ($23.6 billion) to the country’s GDP and in 2019 Amsterdam was the third-best internationally connected city in Europe.
Chichester added that the increase in ticket prices caused by competition would be hard on the Dutch population, which is already facing higher energy prices and cost of living.
“Rich travelers will be able to shoulder these costs, but ordinary families will have to cut back on travel,” Chichester added.
The organization has launched a signature petition to convince the government to reverse its decision.