Schiphol open for freighters following slot rule change

By Damian Brett

Capacity constrained Amsterdam Schiphol Airport will be able to handle extra freighters following changes to slot rules in response to the coronavirus.

Schiphol’s slot procedure has changed after Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL) temporarily lifted the Local Rule 2 (LR2) due to the global COVID-19 outbreak.

Under LR2, the number of slots available for reallocation is limited, but the temporary lifting of the rule frees up freight operations.

“In these difficult times, it is important that we work together to ensure that the supply chain keeps moving,” said Bart Pouwels, head of cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

“The lifting of LR2 will enable us to operate temporarily more ad hoc full-freighter flights at AMS, which is much needed to offset the current decline in belly capacity.”

Effective immediately, ACNL will not use LR2 for ad-hoc slots to be allocated up to and including June 6.

In addition, slots that have been handed back to the slot coordinator by passenger carriers who are not using them, are to be offered to full freighter operators first on an ad hoc basis until 6th June 2020.

ACNL said that due to the proposed temporary 80/20 waiver, which required airlines to use 80% of their slots or risk losing them, it expects a large number of slots to be handed back.

Over the last couple of years the airport had seen freighter operators move to nearby rivals because the airport had reached its slot limit and IATA rules favour regular passenger services.

LR2 had been introduced to try and protect remaining freighter services, guaranteeing all-cargo airlines access to a limited number of unused slots.

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