Schiphol freighter slots may be increased

Freighter services at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport could be increased after the Dutch government reversed its previous rejection of the ‘local rule’ proposal.
The rule would give freighter operators priority for the first 25% of any unused slots that are returned for re-allocation and was devised as a way to help overcome the Amsterdam airport’s slot shortage earlier this year.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Works recently checked the proposed Local Rule for legal aspects and effectiveness and “in principle, no objections were found to the approval of the Local Rule”, according to ACN (Air Cargo Netherlands), the industry association.
It said that the ministry has now asked Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL) to carry out a check on the practical feasibility of the scheme and report by November 30. The ministry will then make a final decision.
The initial proposal was rejected by the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, in June on the basis that re-allocated slots would have been based on an estimate.
With the airport so close to breaching its annual movement limit, van Nieuwenhuizen was concerned that it would have resulted in Schiphol exceeding 500,000 air traffic movements per year.
Slots may be unused due to bad weather or operational reasons, and the local freight community asked that 25% of them be specifically made available for cargo aircraft (about 4% of the number of flights at Schiphol). 
In addition, airlines with this local rule would have more options to adjust their schedules without losing their historical rights to slots.

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