Schiphol Airport KLM Cargo Photo 183463101 © Milanrademakers
© Milanrademakers

A proposed 2025 night ban on ‘noisy’ 747Fs at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) is “too soon” for airlines to undergo fleet renewal, while additional measures also threaten to hinder air cargo.  

In June 2022, the Dutch cabinet presented a package of measures aimed to reduce AMS’s noise and environmental impact, including drastic flight reductions by this year, in the particular interest of local residents.  

This was presented to the European Commission (EC) in September, which reportedly “reacted very critically”, due to the proportionality and timing of the package. It flagged a preference for alternative measures to reduce noise, instead of flight reductions.  

Consequently, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management  released an adapted package of measures last month, now due for consultation.  

It states, that by November 2025, there will be a maximum of 460,000 to 470,000 flights a year – the previous package suggested a maximum of 452,500. 

Only 27,000 of those will be allowed at night, a reduction from the previous suggestion of 28,700. 

“We are looking at aircraft traffic movements as a whole, and we don’t differentiate between passenger and cargo,” clarified ministry advisor Bernard Reimer. 

Last year, there were some 450,000 flight movements at Schiphol, according to coordinator at the ministry Christiaan Ensing. 

“The thing is, if you don’t implement a max capacity now, Schiphol can grow even further,” he said.  

Further, in November 2025, “the noisiest aircraft, such as the Boeing 747-400,” will no longer be allowed to land and take off between 11pm and 7am, and airport charges for such aircraft will be increased. 

By 2026, there is a possibility of complete night-time closure.  

Air Cargo Netherlands MD Maarten van As  told The Loadstar this would “damage the Dutch economy, as companies rely on air cargo”, and said the industry had not been consulted in the decision-making process.  

“Schiphol operates 500,000 slots in a densely populated area, of course we have to take noise reduction very seriously. But our Ministry of Infrastructure has been taking strange routes for the last two years on this complex dossier without involving the industry,” he said. 

One of the main areas of contention is that the proposed ban of the 747 freighter and other ‘noisy aircraft’ next year does not allow enough notice for fleet renewal.  

Dutch airline KLM told The Loadstar: “The ban on the B747 is too soon. We ordered new aircraft a few years ago, which we will receive in 2026.” 

Mr van As added: “The ban on 747 freighters will hurt several airlines at Schiphol, 2025 is too soon. New, less noisy freighters have been ordered, but this fleet renewal will take place in Q4 26 to Q1 27… production takes time” 

Mr Ensing said the ministry was “aware of the supply chain problems at Airbus and Boeing with assembly and so on”, which has meant focus is set on achieving a noise reduction goal, rather than the specific method.  

“We are also looking at evaluation measures. This package has to reduce the nuisance by 20%, so if the goal isn’t reached in the near future, because of delivery problems or maybe other measures don’t count up, then we are looking at additional measures to achieve the goal,” explained Mr Reimer. 

And Lidia Palm, manager at the ministry, assured: “It’s not decided yet. 

“To be clear, it’s not a whole new notification procedure, it’s an amended step in the process. And we have to weigh everything that comes in through the consultation, and after that we make a final decision of what we sent to the EC.” 

Stakeholders have until 21 June to share their feedback. 

Schiphol Airport said: “These plans by the government contribute to a quieter Schiphol, which we naturally support…. It is important for Schiphol and the ministry to continue talks with local residents to hear whether they actually experience less nuisance… A night closure would be a significant step in that direction.” 

And it told The Loadstar: “Protecting cargo is also part of our 8-point plan. We are constantly looking at how to realise these points, and other points from the 8-point plan. In this consideration, we naturally include the interests of the cargo sector and airlines.”

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