A new campaign group has been created to fight the Dutch government’s plans to reduce the number of flights permitted from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
But the backers of the Red Schiphol Campaign are choosing to stay anonymous for “the time being”. The group said this was due to the “aggressive response by certain environmental activist groups”.
The current government in the Netherlands is to limit Schiphol’s flights to 460,000 per year for the 12 months ending in September 2024, as a measure to help reduce noise and air pollution. A further reduction to 440,000 flights per year is also planned.
Earlier this month, a group of major airlines, including KLM, Delta Air Lines and easyJet, launched a legal challenge to the Dutch government’s decision to “unilaterally” reduce capacity from Schiphol.
Red Schiphol Campaign said it planned to “unite businesses, community activists and trade bodies” opposed to the new restrictions on flights from Schiphol, with the aim of having the policy reversed. It has already launched a petition calling on the government to change what it calls the “440 decision”.
The campaign is being co-ordinated by UK-based research firm SABI Strategy Group, with account manager George Chichester acting as the group’s campaign manager.
“Schiphol airport is a national asset that helps the Netherlands to punch above its weight in terms of global business connectivity,” said Chichester.
“The airport directly employs over 2,000 people and supports many more jobs throughout the wider economy. In 2019, IATA predicted that if Dutch air travel was weakened, a worrying 84,000 jobs could be lost in the future.”
The campaign said that reducing the number of flights at Schiphol would lead to higher ticket prices as airlines are forced to fight for the remaining slots.
“Climate change is the most important challenge of this decade, with potentially serious consequences for both current and future generations,” added Chichester.
“However, limiting the number of flights at Schiphol will simply divert the same planes to other hub airports such as Heathrow and Charles De Gaulle; doing nothing to bring down global emissions from aviation.”
The campaign said on its website: “Given the aggressive response by certain environmental activist groups, supporters prefer to keep their identities anonymous for the time being.
“In time, we hope to showcase some of the individuals and businesses who are supporting this campaign.”