Business aviation could find itself squeezed out of one of Europe’s major hub airports after a Dutch appeals court ruled the government can force the management of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to reduce the number of flights each year from 500,000 to 460,000. The ruling, publicized late on July 7, overturned an early legal challenge by flag carrier KLM which had persuaded a lower court that the Dutch government had not followed the correct process.
Earlier this year, the management at Schiphol announced plans to ban private jets and small business aircraft starting in 2025 as part of a wider strategy to introduce a system that focuses on the structural reduction of noise and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in line with the Paris climate agreement. According to the Dutch airport operator, business aviation flights cause a “disproportionate amount of noise nuisance and CO2 emissions per passenger.” The airport has also signaled an intention to cut airliner movements at night and has canceled plans to build an additional runway.
KLM and other aviation groups could decide to mount a further legal appeal to the supreme court of the Netherlands. The European Business Aviation Association has not issued a direct response to the latest court ruling but has opposed earlier moves to ban its members from Amsterdam Schiphol.