Carriers in favour of ‘local rule’ at AMS

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol tower and Martinair Cargo

Airlines operating at Amsterdam Schiphol airport met yesterday to discuss a proposed local rule to break the impasse over aircraft slots at the Dutch gateway, Europe’s third largest freight hub.

An extraordinary meeting of the Coordination Committee Netherlands, representing passenger and cargo carriers, had been requested by Sharon Dijksma, outgoing secretary of state for infrastructure in the Netherlands.

In a statement, Schiphol says: “We are pleased that the airlines, through the Coordination Committee of the Netherlands has resolved this by themselves and that the majority of them are in favour of the local rule.

“Schiphol recognises the value of air cargo as part of its Mainport project, and therefore its value to the Dutch economy.

“It is Schiphol’s objective to aim for sustainable growth at the airport after 2020 and airfreight is an important part of that.”

Some full freighter operations are difficult to fit into slots. The major issue for full freighter operations is the difficulty to fly according to a fixed on time schedule.

According to IATA and EU regulations, in order to retain their historical rights to slots, airlines need to fly 80 per cent of their slots according to the requested flight schedule.

This requirement proves to be challenging for some full freighter operators. The nature of the air cargo industry is uncertainty, cargo carriers following cargo flows, which are one-way flights.

The local rule is that there should be a pool of non-used Air Traffic Movements with a form of preference to request for slots for full-freighter operations.