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Tiaca chief slams Schiphol slot cuts – dialogue is the answer

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

By Alex Whiteman

Tiaca director general Glyn Hughes has slammed Schiphol’s plan to cut flights by some 10% in a bid to reduce noise and pollution.

Mr Hughes said all it would only move the problem elsewhere, while failing to consider where the jobs associated with the lost flights, or indeed the flights themselves, would go; and how cargo would get to these alternatives.

“We all want the convenience of city living with the peace of a Swiss mountain top, but life is about finding a compromise that is balanced and fair,” he told The Loadstar.

“As an industry, we recognise our great role, but also our impact. Every successive generation of aircraft makes significant strides forward in terms of emissions and noise, to the extent that noise levels have halved in the past 10 years.

“Is moving emissions elsewhere a solution? Either infrastructure closes and moves, or cargo is driven, increasing road congestion, truck movements and emissions. Is this an improvement?”

In February, Schiphol said the cut, from 500,000 to 460,000 flights a year, was a “necessary intermediate step”, reflecting the views of residents and airlines, but a raft of carriers condemned it as “incomprehensible” and launched legal action.

Mr Hughes said technological improvements saw noise reduced, while CO2, NOx and smoke had been cut 40%-90% since the 1960s. As a result, modern aircraft can often have less impact on local air quality around airports than road traffic. In some cases, 95% of local particulate matter comes from cars, trucks and other ground vehicles.

“So, what could have happened? Authorities could have worked with the industry to understand its plans to address emissions and noise pollution,” added Mr Hughes.

“A joint plan could be established with trigger-based measures. Tech could be pursued to seek additional solutions. The aim, balance between Swiss mountain peace and city living convenience.

“Dialogue and collaborative spirit are key to the most effective solutions.”

This article originally appeared on The Loadstar. All rights belong to The Loadstar.


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