Emissions reduction

Dutch government issues world-first cap on flights from European hub

June 2022

Efforts to accelerate the decarbonisation of the aviation sector are increasingly taking place, even from air travel emission hubs: airports. 

The Dutch government introduced in June 2022 a world-first cap on flights from a European hub by limiting the number of flights to and from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to 500,000 per year. The move will start its implementation and aims to reduce emissions from aviation and combat climate change. The cap includes both passenger and cargo flights, and it will be reviewed every five years to assess its effectiveness. The Dutch government hopes that other European countries will follow their lead and introduce similar measures to reduce emissions from aviation. 

The action was blocked by court ruling until July 2023, when the Dutch Court of appeal ruled that the Netherlands can limit Schiphol flights.

By reducing their business flying, companies can benefit from not being affected by airport restrictions, contributing to making aviation more sustainable, ensuring their resilience in the climate crisis and innovating in ways to connect and carry out their business activity without having to jump on a plane.

Amsterdam’s airport cap plans has mobilised the various stakeholders, starting with the airlines, the US government and the European Commission, which called for it to be stopped and got the Dutch government to do so. 

However, the plan is now back on the table after the airport itself asked for it by citing “a combination of insufficient terminal facilities for wide-body jets, inadequate resources for customs and border checks, and lack of air traffic control capacity”. 

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