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Europe airport has to cut off flights due to pollution

Europe airport has to cut off flights due to pollution

(CNN) – Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, one of Europe’s busiest aviation hubs, will be forced to limit the number of international flights and passengers it handles under the Dutch government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions, a move that is raising concerns in airlines.

Dutch officials announced on March 17 that they would place restrictions on all international flights leaving the Netherlands in order to meet their climate goals.

Aviation accounts for about 2-3% of the pollution from global warming, but a country’s share of these emissions can be quite high, especially for smaller nations that handle many flights. Some have targeted aviation to reduce their overall climate footprint and deliver on their climate promises.

While there have previously been moves within Europe to limit or ban certain short-haul domestic and regional flights to reduce carbon emissions, this will be the first environmental action taken against international services.

KLM, the Netherlands’ flagship airline, this week expressed concern about the move.

“KLM believes that sustainability policies, due to aviation’s global reach, should be regulated as internationally as possible,” the company told CNN on Wednesday.

“Being the only country in the world to set a national cap on carbon dioxide does not coincide with an internationally operated sector and international politics,” he continued.

The Dutch transport ministry said in a statement that Schiphol and other affected airports could extend the cuts over several years.

“The cap on carbon dioxide emissions set for each airport will apply for several years, so an excess in one year can be compensated for in subsequent years,” he said.

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The policy will help the country achieve its carbon target. More details remain to be worked out and the government pledges that the discussions will be inclusive of all parties.”

Dutch airline KLM has raised concerns about the proposed limit on international flights. (Robin van Longhuysen/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

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Schiphol Airport is a major European hub, along with London, Paris and Frankfurt. It also serves as the base for KLM, the national carrier fleet of the Netherlands and one of the largest airlines on the continent.

The airport came under heavy criticism from passengers and airlines last year after it struggled to handle the airport return air traffic In the aftermath of the covid pandemic. The chaos led to limiting the number of passengers until the beginning of 2023 to alleviate the shortage in the number of employees.

In response to environmental concerns, the Dutch government published the “Schiphol Initial Scheme” in January, which proposed cutting the number of flights from 500,000 to 460,000 between winter 2023-2024 and summer 2024.

KLM, along with other big players like Delta and EasyJet, called this decision “incomprehensible” in a joint statement published March 3.

Airlines have already made billions of dollars in investments to meet short- and long-term goals in line with their decarbonization pathways, as well as government policies, while government justification hinges on operational constraints without considering viable alternative solutions to achieve this. reduce noise.”

Delta Airlines, a major partner of KLM and a major shareholder of the Air France-KLM group, also said it was “strongly opposed to capacity reductions at Schiphol Airport” while remaining “actively focused on investing in our program renewal and fleet modernization. It is the most effective way to mitigate noise.” and environmental concerns.”

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KLM launched a legal challenge against the Dutch government over the decision in early March.