Dutch court rules Amsterdam flights can be cut


A Dutch appeals court has ruled the government can enforce a flight reduction of 40,000 per year at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

The ruling means business aviation could be forced out of the Dutch capital, as flights are reduced to 460,000 per year. The July 7th decision by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal stated that the justices gave “considerable weight to the interests of local residents”. The cut to 460,000 flights will come into effect from November 2023 through to October 2024. The Dutch transport ministry is also looking at a longer-term plan to limit annual operations at Schiphol to 440,000 beginning in 2024-25.

The appeals court concluded that as a temporary measure, the transport ministry can curb flights in order to keep Schiphol in compliance with noise regulations, even without going through the ordinary process.

A previous legal challenge from national flag carrier, KLM which had persuaded another court that the Dutch government had not followed protocol, was overturned by the ruling. KLM, amongst other aviation groups, is able to mount a further legal appeal to the supreme court of the Netherlands should itdecide to.

As well as voicing intentions to cut nighttime airliner movements and cancelling plans for a new runway, back in April, Schiphol’s management team wants to ban private jets and small business aircraft from 2025. The ban forms part of its decarbonisation and noise reduction strategy in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change. According to Royal Schiphol Group, a “disproportionate amount of noise nuisance and CO2 emissions per passenger” is caused by business aviation flights.

Corporate Jet Investor contacted the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) for comment. It stated: “EBAA remains highly engaged in the unfolding situation in Amsterdam, and we acknowledge the implications of the recent court ruling. Given that this development stems from a political decision, and considering the substantial shifts observed within the Netherlands’ political landscape over the past week, we maintain an active vigilance over the circumstances. EBAA is dedicated to continued observation, analysis, and appropriate response as the situation evolves.”