Attempts to introduce a local rule to support freighter slots in Schiphol appear to have failed.

Nieuwsblad Transport, citing several anonymous sources at the airport, reports that during an internal consultation the coordinator described the scheme as “unviable”.

However, a statement from director of the ACNL (the body responsible for slot allocation) Caroline Ditvoorst denied these claims.

Ms Ditvoorst said the proposal was awaiting approval from the ministry of infrastructure and water management, which she said would decide on the efficiency and feasibility of the rule.

But one source confirmed to The Loadstar that problems had arisen.

Head of the Dutch shippers’ council, Evofenedex, Rogier Spoel said: “Indeed, we have some issues on the implementation of the rule, at least there is a hold up.”

“We are worried about the hold up, but we are talking with the government early next week [Tuesday] to see where we are on implementation.”

Under the local rule, freighter operators which run a more ad-hoc operation would be allowed to miss more slots without losing them.

Currently, the airport runs an 80:20 split, meaning if carriers miss more than 20% of slots their allocation is reduced. Under the local rule this split would be changed to 70:30.

Speculation has arisen that a pushback may be coming from the ministry, which may fear falling foul of EU competition law.

Having hit its 500,000-slot capacity last year, Schiphol was forced to implement the 80:20 rule, leading to a dispute with AirBridgeCargo, which lost slots as a result.

Dutch carriers were threatened that their access to Russian airspace would be blocked unless the slots were returned, but a compromise was reached.

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