The EBAA has welcomed the recent decision by the Dutch government to suspend its plan to cap flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. This decision, announced by infrastructure minister Mark Harbers, marks a significant moment for the aviation industry and EBAA members.
The proposed cap, which was first announced in September and aimed to reduce approximately 9,100 flights from next summer's schedule for noise reduction, faced strong opposition from industry stakeholders, the US and the European Commission. The US had threatened retaliation, and EU Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Vălean had expressed concerns over potential infringement proceedings against the Netherlands.
The suspension comes just a week after fellow Dutch airport, Eindhoven, announced its intention to ban all private flights from January 2026 as part of a series of broader sustainability measures.
The EBAA, having actively participated in this case, played a significant role in voicing the concerns of the business aviation community.
"This is certainly good news," comments senior communications manager Róman Kok. "We've been deeply involved in the Dutch case, advocating for our members and the broader industry. However, it's clear that certain stakeholders like Schiphol airport still hold misconceptions about the business aviation industry, often incorrectly making it out to be a primary contributor to noise and emissions issues. It is imperative that we dispel these misconceptions and emphasise our industry's steadfast commitment to sustainable and responsible practices."
The suspension of the measure is a testament to the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders who have been vocal in their opposition. Their concerns, echoed by the EBAA, have highlighted the need for more nuanced approaches to managing airport noise and environmental impacts.
The association further iterates that reducing noise at airports isn't solely about reducing flight slots; it involves adopting strategies such as constant descent approaches, optimising flight routings and making other procedural changes that can significantly mitigate noise impact while maintaining operational efficiency. These solutions are already available, thanks to the dedicated work of the European Commission and SESAR.