New take-off and landing rights regulations to help reduce crowding at Schiphol

Temporary new slot regulations for take-off and landing rights could ensure that fewer flights will depart from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol this summer. The new regulations, which serve like a lock on the door, will be in force from 1 June until 28 August and form part of a package of measures to reduce crowding at Schiphol. The new regulations were drawn up by Schiphol in consultation with the independent slot coordinator and were discussed with airlines.

Airlines at Schiphol occupy so-called slots. A slot is the time at which an aircraft may take off or land. The new regulations mean that an airline that does not use a slot can rest assured that the slot will not be used by another airline. In addition to this, airlines will also retain their historical rights to a slot if they do not use them over the course of this summer. 

Schiphol is anticipating that these amended regulations will prompt airlines to hand back a proportion of their slots. Thus resulting in fewer flights and enabling better scheduling. There is a variety of reasons why airlines might not use a slot.

Four lines of action

The amended slot regulations form part of a package of measures that Schiphol is working on to address the high volume of passengers at the airport. Schiphol is set to publish this package tomorrow. The overcrowding at the airport is down to a combination of staff shortages throughout the airport and the high volume of travellers. The measures that Schiphol is working on can be subdivided into four lines of action: 

  1. Attracting staff
  2. Appealing work at Schiphol
  3. Optimising operations, including extra crowd control and extra deployment of staff
  4. Making operations feasible, including better harmonisation with airlines on scheduling, redirecting flights to regional airports and amended slot regulations

Schiphol is working on these solutions in consultation with airlines, tour operators and unions.