AMS Local Rule Gets OK’d by Minister

The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure Cora van Nieuwenhuizen has officially approved the local rule for slot allocation at AMS. This should put an end to a controversial and sometimes fierce debate over traffic rights and the role cargo plays at Schiphol airport.

In an official letter to the Chairman of the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer), Ms van Nieuwenhuizen refers to the revised guideline she had been presented by the Coordination Committee Netherlands (CCN) on 1 October 2018.
The guideline consisted of three elements, the first of which was the preservation of historic rights.

Secondly, the document provided for the creation of an ‘In Season Slot Pool’, consisting of allocated slots becoming available because they have been given back or have not been used during the season. Primarily these will be used to accommodate accidental or unforeseen operational cases.

Evaluation in 2020
Thirdly, the remaining slots in the pool will be redistributed among passenger and cargo flights on a 75/25% ratio. As this local rule is a ‘first’, it will primarily be approved for the IATA Winter season 2019/2020 through the IATA Summer season 2021.
“As the preparations for the Winter season start earlier, the local rule will be implemented as from 31 August. After the completion of the Summer season 2020 the effect of the rule will be evaluated.”
The umbrella organisation Air Cargo Netherlands is pleased about the approval of the local rule. The organisation has pledged to keep on stressing the importance of air cargo in the development of the aviation policy document so that it can be anchored in the policy.

Industry applauds approval
Maarten van As, managing director of ACN thinks that this local rule is not THE solution for the slot shortage for -among others- cargo flights at Schiphol. “The demand still outpaces the offer. But the minister and Airport Coordination Netherlands have hereby given a positive signal to the air cargo industry, which is asking for clarity”

Machiel van der Kuijl, managing director of the exporters’ and shippers’ organisation evofenedex said: “Cargo flights are a crucial ingredient for the export opportunities of the Dutch companies’ active high tech, pharmaceuticals and flowers. On top of this it is an important pillar under the investment climate for foreign companies and the import of their goods. The approved ruling demonstrates that our concerns have been taken seriously and that the added value of cargo flights for the Dutch economy has been endorsed.”

“This is very good news,” says Jan Boeve, director of the haulier’s organisation Transport en Logistiek Nederland (TLN). “For the trucking companies transhipping air cargo at AMS to be hauled all over Europe but also for the Dutch forwarders, united in FENEX this means that AMS is a very important hub for international air cargo consignments.”

Marcel Schoeters in Amsterdam

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