Schiphol boss resigns after latest round of flight disruption

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Schiphol Airport chief executive Dick Benschop has resigned from the role after further disruption at the Dutch hub due to staff shortages.

Benschop on Thursday said he would leave the role after he received criticism over the chaos at the airport over the summer and again this week.

“A lot of attention, and criticism, has been directed towards the way in which Schiphol is tackling the problems and my responsibility as chief executive,” he said.

“On my own initiative, I am giving Schiphol the space to make a new start. I do not want the attention on me as an individual to become an obstacle for Schiphol.”

The airport’s supervisory board is looking for a successor as soon as possible and Benschop will remain in office until a successor is found.

Earlier this week the airport again asked airlines to cancel flights due to security staff shortages, although other it is not the only European airport to face issues with staffing levels.

Dutch shipper and logistics group EvoFenedex said that Benschop has “an eye for Schiphol’s function for international trade and logistics”. 

“Benschop recognises the concerns of entrepreneurs about the forced departure of cargo flights at Schiphol and is in favour of setting up a separate slot pool for cargo flights to ensure economic added value for the Netherlands,” the group said.

EvoFenedex called for the next boss of Schiphol Airport to focus on the benefits the airport can bring the country rather than shareholder dividends.

“The search for a new chief executive should primarily focus on the management of Schiphol.

“As Schiphol’s largest shareholder, the Ministry of Finance paid little attention to Schiphol’s contribution to the Netherlands and focused on as much dividend as possible.

“The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is responsible for aviation policy in the Netherlands and has the substantive knowledge, but has no input on the airport’s strategy.

“This strategy should be aimed at making the airport as profitable as possible for the Netherlands, instead of yielding as much dividend as possible for shareholders.”

The airport has faced a difficult few months. As well as the flight disruption, in June, the Dutch government confirmed plans to reduce the number of flights from Schiphol from November next year as part of efforts to reduce noise and environmental pollution. 

Schiphol hit by staff shortages with airlines asked to cancel flights

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]