One of the world’s busiest airports (and certainly one of Europe’s most highly trafficked), Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport today announced that it plans to continue capping the number of travelers permitted to depart from the airport through the end of March 2023.
Per Schiphol’s news release, the decision was made after airport authorities consulted with airlines (which, incidentally, were not happy about it). The reasoning behind its decree runs thusly: “Keeping to a maximum number of travelers is vital,” according to the release, “for [a] more stable airport process”.
Around the globe, this year has demonstrated just how hectic commercial air travel can truly be, as airlines and airports continue struggling to cope with an unexpectedly large influx of travelers amid severe staffing shortages that have resulted in limited operations.
So, for the foreseeable future, Amsterdam’s airport is sticking to its current strategy of capping passenger departures in order to avoid the kind of chaos that has characterized commercial aviation throughout 2022.
“Schiphol has made this choice to provide travellers a reliable travel experience, and predictability and stability for airlines,” the release reads. “We want to ensure the safety of employees and travellers, in addition to providing a more reliable airport process.” It continues, “This obviously affects travellers and airlines, which we of course consider very unfortunate.”
Schiphol first began capping the number of passengers permitted to depart from the airport back in June, amid protest from the airlines, afterward announcing in August that it would extend those practices through at least October.
The announcement did not specify the number to which passenger counts would be limited, stating instead that, “the independent slot coordinator (ACNL) will consult with all airlines to arrive at the required capacity reduction.”
CNN reported that the number of passengers departing the airport was restricted to 67,500 per day during September, but that the maximum allowance has been increased to 69,500 daily for the month of October.
The release also noted that the airport is working hard to improve operational capacity at security. “Together with the security companies and unions, we are working hard on making structural improvements – a daunting task in a very tight labour market.” Hanne Buis, COO at Royal Schiphol Group, said in the statement.
The announcement also said that, toward the end of 2022, airport officials plan to reevaluate the situation to see whether it might be possible to handle a larger number of passengers come January. “It’s something to be realistic about,” said Buis. “That’s why it will only become clear later this year whether more is possible after January.”
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