Dutch government set to assess airfreight’s contribution to the nation’s economy

Dutch infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen looks set to launch an investigation into airfreight’s contribution to the Netherlands economy, with the conclusions fed into the European country’s pending new aviation bill.
Dutch logistics publication Nieuwsblad Transport reports that the idea of a study came in a government spokesperson’s response to questions in Parliament about the effect of Schiphol Airport’s freighter aircraft slot restrictions.
An estimated 10% of freighter flights have been lost as Schiphol struggles to keep to the annual total limit of 500,000 flight movements, a number which is not set to increase until 2020 at the earliest.
A number of freighter operators, including Russian owned AirBridgeCargo, have allocated some flights to rival airports, such as Brussels and Liege.
Schiphol Airport saw its cargo volumes decline by 2.6% in the first half of 2018 as a result of fewer freighter services.
The airport handled a total of 844,317 tonnes of cargo during the first six months of 2018, compared with 866,971 tonnes during the same period in 2017.
The Dutch trade press reports suggest that the damaged caused to the Dutch economy by the loss of freighter flights has yet to be quantified, but there is an urgent need to launch a study because the new aviation legislation is set to be introduced in Parliament by mid-2019.
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