Could Schiphol Flight Cap Affect The Airport’s Overall Recovery?

Could Schiphol Flight Cap Affect The Airport's Overall Recovery?
Photo Credit: Schiphol Airport.

Airports around the world always aim to expand and offer more flights, but in the context of the flight cap being placed on Schiphol, will this affect their overall recovery?

Using data from both the airport and also, we will seek to establish whether this will provide a significant impact to overall recovery.

Without further ado, let’s get into it…

Schiphol Airport’s Movement Numbers Currently…

Could Schiphol Flight Cap Affect The Airport's Overall Recovery?
Data provided by

This week, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is expected to handle 1,455 movements, based on a seven-day rolling average provided by the flight tracking company.

This represents an increase of 14.12% compared to the same period last year, and is around 35 movements short of pre-pandemic levels.

Below is the last four weeks’ worth of data based on the airport’s movement performance:

Date2019 Numbers2022 Numbers2023 NumbersPercentage Difference (2023 vs. 2022)
September 19-261525 movements1328 movements1420 movements+6.93%
September 26-October 31513 movements1305 movements1448 movements+10.96%
October 3-101511 movements1300 movements1449 movements+11.46%
October 10-171526 movements1282 movements1431 movements+11.62%

What we can see from the data is that Amsterdam Schiphol Airport’s movement numbers have increased significantly compared to last year, but is still shy of achieving pre-pandemic levels.


Will The Flight Cap Stunt Growth?

Photo Credit: Schiphol Airport.

The Dutch Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy officially granted Schiphol Airport a crucial nature permit last month.

This permit now allows Schiphol to operate within a flight range of 440,000 to a maximum of 500,000 flights.

However, as per One Mile At A Time, the Dutch Government has decided to restrict the number of flights to 460,000 flights, despite the airport being able to expand and grow to 540,000 flights instead.

Such a figure would represent a near 10% capacity cut that Schiphol Airport would be legally allowed to handle, which does instil the fear that post-pandemic recovery could be hampered by this.

Before the cut was announced and finalised, the IATA Director-General Willie Walsh added his thoughts on this:

“Airlines are fully committed to addressing noise issues at airports under a proper Balanced Approach process.”

“It is essential that any decision be postponed until a fully functioning and accountable government with a fresh mandate is in place.”

“This unprecedented and complex proposal can then be considered carefully, with the legal questions settled and the full facts and implications understood and in the public domain, and with sufficient time for the air transport industry to adapt if necessary, when a final decision is known”.

Looking ahead, all eyes will be on Schiphol Airport to see what post-pandemic recovery will look like for them, and whether they can instigate the growth that they want.

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By James Field - Editor in Chief 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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