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26 November 2019

Ensuring air transport continues to fly high in the Netherlands

In association with the Dutch Board of Airlines Representatives (BARIN), IATA organized a side event during the Wings of Change Europe 2019 conference in Berlin, bringing together key industry players whose common efforts are required to ensure the Netherlands enhances its air transport competitiveness.

In addition to its strong aviation history and legacy (its flagship carrier, KLM, just turned 100 in October!), the Netherlands holds a particularly central role in European aviation, characterized by its leadership as a major connecting hub, as well as its economic power.
Air transport's contribution to the Netherlands´ economy at present is significant:
- 306,000 jobs supported
- €22 billion contributed (accounting for 3.2% of the Netherlands' GDP).

However, in order to ensure sustainable growth of the sector, some conditions must be met. It was with this quest to help countries deliver aviation’s many benefits that IATA created the Air Transport Regulatory Competitiveness Indicators, a framework that assesses the regulatory environment across countries and how governments facilitate or inhibit growth of the air transport sector through their regulations. The framework measures a country’s aviation regulatory competitiveness and offers a snapshot of where the potential gaps are in following the international best practice. Ultimately, it provides a guideline to build up a more efficient regulatory environment to unlock the economic benefits that aviation creates.

According to the Netherlands Air Transport Regulatory Competitiveness Indicators report, in order to maximize employment and prosperity opportunities, it is recommended that the Netherlands should:
- increase the cap on aircraft movements and ensure a cost-effective expansion of Dutch airports including Schiphol Airport, all the while opening the Lelystad Airport in order to disburden Schiphol Airport
- avoid the introduction of new environmental taxes
- continue to maintain a slot allocation policy in line with EU and global best practice.

Should the Dutch Government decide to pursue a competitiveness agenda, an extra 40,000 jobs and nearly €8 billion in additional GDP could be generated by 2037.

As expressed during the Wings of Change Europe 2019 by IATA´s Director General & CEO Alexandre de Juniac, the present and future of the industry resides in Sustainable Growth. The environment constituters a key challenge and the aviation industry is strongly committed to reducing its carbon emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050. Substantial progress has already been made: since 1990, CO2 emissions per passenger have been halved. Meeting the 2050 goal requires significant investment in sustainable aviation fuels and new technologies like hybrid-electric. If the government of the Netherlands were to encourage such investments, it would not only be demonstrating climate leadership, it would also open new economic opportunities for the country. 

Rafael Schvartzman, IATA's Regional Vice President for Europe said: "The Netherlands has always been an open trading nation and aviation has helped drive forward the Dutch economy. But future progress depends on strong aviation competitiveness. The Netherlands is looking to restore passenger carbon taxes that were abolished years ago because they were proven to damage employment and have no measurable impact on climate change. We urge the government to remember the lessons from last time. Instead of taxes, if strategic policy support for sustainable aviation fuels is given, carbon emissions can be cut faster, without restricting access to air travel for those on lower incomes".

Joost Hasperhoven, BARIN’s Secretary General added: “As an industry, we support IATA’s initiative and we are not in favor of the Dutch proposed ticket tax; especially since the proceeds will solely be added to the General Budget of the Government instead of being used for the innovation or stimulation of new technologies in the aviation industry, which would better address the climate change challenge”.



A similar report was also launched for Germany during the Wings of Change Europe 2019 event in Berlin, Germany.

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