Schiphol flights to be limited to 460,000 a year, government wants 440,000 cap

FILE PHOTO: People wait for departure at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Flights to and from Amsterdam's Schiphol will be limited to 460,000 in the year through September 2024, the airport said, calling it a temporary solution for the government-proposed cap of 440,000 to cut noise pollution and for environmental reasons.

The previous cap was set at 500,000 flights a year.

The airport called upon the government to speed up the implementation of a new system that would cap traffic not at a specific number of flights, but instead focus on the maximum level of noise and air pollution allowed.

This would leave the option open for future growth if airlines manage to reduce pollution from their flights.

Royal Schiphol Group, the operator of airports in the Netherlands, is majority owned by the Dutch state.

The Dutch government did not reply to a Reuters' request for comment, but Transportation Minister Mark Harbers told NPO Radio 1 on Thursday that Schiphol's 460,000 cap should be a first step to implementing the 440,000 cap.

Schiphol did not specify when it would change the cap to 440,000.

Harbers added that the government would like to implement the new system that focuses on noise and air pollution rather than caps as soon as possible, but that it would most likely take five years as further research and law changes are needed.

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout, Editing by Bart H. Meijer and Shounak Dasgupta)