Until the very end, the discussion rages on whether or not to shrink Schiphol. On the day that the cabinet has to send decisions for the maximum number of flights to Europe at the airport, various plans have been shelved.
Various media report that the cabinet is announcing this afternoon that Schiphol may facilitate a maximum of 460,000 flights per year from next spring and 452,000 from November 2024. Insiders also confirm this number to the NOS. That is more than the previously suggested 440,000.
Strikingly enough, a proposal from Schiphol itself to stop private jets and night flights has been pushed aside by The Hague, de Volkskrant reports based on sources.
Quarrel with US
At the same time, the United States is increasing the pressure not to do anything about the current number of 500,000 flight movements at Schiphol for the time being. Otherwise, the US Ministry of Transport threatens to make cooperation between Dutch and US airlines more difficult, De Telegraaf quotes from a letter sent to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and various MPs.
According to the Americans, the subject should be declared controversial now that the cabinet is outgoing. If flights are canceled, KLM could have less access to American airports as a countermeasure.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management confirms receipt of the letter from Washington to NOS. “We are in contact and will also send a reply,” says a spokesperson.
KLM director Marjan Rintel says in De Telegraaf that she is “familiar with the position that the Netherlands cannot simply deny American airlines access to Schiphol”. A spokesman for KLM says that it will not provide a detailed response until later today when the cabinet plans are official.
Schiphol did not want to provide any further explanation this morning about the media publications about the contraction. The airport wants to wait until after the Council of Ministers.
The interest group of travel organizations, the ANVR, on the other hand, does make an “urgent appeal” to the House of Representatives and the cabinet to declare the shrinkage of Schiphol controversial.
The ANVR calls it “irresponsible” to take “such a drastic decision” in a caretaker status. Director Frank Oostdam also wants to “give voters a voice”, referring to the early parliamentary elections at the end of November.
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