Air cargo interests and the operator of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport are pushing back against a proposal by the Netherlands government to further protect local residents from noise and emissions by reducing flight activity.

The government’s legislative plan announced last summer, and now scheduled to go into effect at the end of 2024, would reduce the maximum number of slots available for airlines by 60,000, to 440,000 per year. The move caught the Netherlands aviation industry by surprise, especially because authorities had been considering whether to raise the annual limits on takeoffs and landings from 500,000 to 540,000 as the number of quieter, less-polluting aircraft increases.

Royal Schiphol Group, the owner and operator of the airport, is now rallying the aviation community in an effort to roll back the flight restrictions. The Dutch government has initiated a study to determine how to implement the measure and must convince the European Union that it followed the proper procedural steps, giving opponents an opportunity to find a compromise.

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