For years Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has been a major employer in the Netherlands, generating some €30 billion annually and supporting 300,000 jobs. It has been told by the Dutch Government that it will not have its capacity restrictions lifted before 2021.
2017 saw the airport hit its capacity limit. Predicted numbers meant cargo companies were penalised in favour of passengers during the last months of 2018, in the middle of an air cargo boom, the likes of which have never been seen before.
This led to a spat with ABC Cargo who got the Russian Government to blackmail KLM into surrendering some of its allocation to ABC, or face not being able to fly in Russian air space.
The decision to cap the total at present levels (850,000 landings) has infuriated the airport and airlines. The airport spent €750m adding noise reduction to private housing in villages and towns around the airport, and the airlines feel let down after investing in quieter and less polluting aircraft.
Amsterdam’s cargo business is huge and nearby options, at Maastricht, Eindhoven, Brussels, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Liege, all could easily begin poaching cargo contracts. Cargo will suffer because passenger airlines have priority in landing rights at Schiphol.
Each 1,000 ton increase in air cargo supports an additional 15 new jobs at the airport and over €3,000,000 in economic value to the national economy, according to Schiphol.
The government doesn’t seem inclined to move on the issue and residents in the area are delighted with the restriction.