Aircrafts are parked on the runways. Proud blue birds lined up. Schiphol has fallen into a deafening silence. Which means that the economic motor, our national airport, has come to an intermittent standstill. Thousands of people who worked directly or indirectly for the airport are now stuck at home feeling insecure about their future.
The corona crisis has an enormous impact on the aviation sector which is being hit extra hard. The Cabinet’s support for the aviation sector is not just supporting the sector itself but the entire chain behind it. With this we mean logistics companies but also companies whose products are exported worldwide. These emergency measures are meant to ensure that the Netherlands maintains it connectedness to the rest of the world. Haarlemmermeer is home to many international companies, such as Asics, Danone and L’Oréal who settled here because of that connectedness. Also, the Cabinet’s support for KLM is understandable because of its major importance to our economy.
Cargo flights are important for our region. Under normal circumstances, cargo flights account for less than three percent of all flights at Schiphol. We would like to see this percentage increased. Because cargo flights generate a lot of employment, not just in our region, and are of great importance to the Netherlands as a whole. We would like to see that, from now, a guaranteed number of extra slots is allocated to cargo flights so that, soon, the economic motor will be spinning faster.
Although enforcing this will be a judicial challenge, we still fight hard for this together with partners such as Air Cargo Netherlands (ACN). Several issues will need to be dealt with at a European level but, meanwhile, the minister and Parliament could speak out in favour of extra cargo slots. We will keep stressing of the vital importance of cargo flights for the Netherlands with the minister and Parliament.
Alderman Aviation Haarlemmermeer Municipality
Read the full article in the online edition of Cargo Magazine on page 1: