By Mauro Orru

 

A Dutch court has ruled that the government can't cut the number of annual flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport later this year, handing a victory to a consortium of airlines that had sued the state over the plans.

Global industry trade group International Air Transport Association said Wednesday that a Dutch court had effectively upheld the legal challenges lodged by IATA and a host of airlines.

Last month, Delta Air Lines Inc., easyJet PLC, TUI AG, Corendon Airlines and KLM Group, part of Air France-KLM, challenged a government decision to reduce annual flights at the airport to 460,000 from 500,000 in November this year, a move aimed at cutting carbon emissions and noise pollution around the airport.

"We welcome the judge's decision. This case has been about upholding the law and international obligations," IATA Director General Willie Walsh said. "The judge has understood that the Dutch government violated its obligations in shortcutting processes that would bring scrutiny to its desire to cut flight numbers at Schiphol."

The judge ruled that the government hadn't followed all protocols to roll out the proposed regulation, IATA said, noting that the state must first identify different measures to reduce noise pollution, consult with all affected parties, and cut flights only if other measures are insufficient.

The government initiated the procedure over plans to reduce flights to 440,000 by November 2024, but not for the 460,000 cap later this year, IATA said.

"We remain committed to achieving a new balance between the interests of residents near Schiphol and the environment on the one hand, and the economic importance of Schiphol for the Netherlands on the other hand," a spokesman for the Dutch government said. "At this time, we are studying the court ruling and are considering possible follow-up actions."

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 05, 2023 08:13 ET (12:13 GMT)

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