In 2024, the airport Schiphol Amsterdam will increase its airport fees not by 12%, as previously planned, but by 14.8%.
This additional increase is necessary due to the loss of income in 2022, when air traffic has decreased, explains the airport. At the start of 2022, some travel restrictions were still in effect due to the COVID-19 and airlines were flying fewer flights than expected. The shortage of security personnel has also led to a reduction in flights, but Schiphol has not included the estimated share of this reduction in the calculation. “We have informed the airlines and understand that they are not very satisfied”comments Robert Carsouw, financial director of Schiphol. “It is at the same time necessary for the quality at Schiphol and for our financial situation. This is also how the law works. In good years we cannot profit from airport charges and in bad years we cannot afford any losses.”
Not enough security personnel
The lack of staff at Schiphol’s security companies was one of the reasons why there were fewer flights in 2022. Partly because of this, Schiphol imposed a limit on the number of departing travelers at certain locations in 2022.“We have calculated Schiphol’s share in the bad year of 2022 and, without being obliged to do so, we have deducted it from the increase we are making”explains Carsouw. “If we hadn’t done that, the increase would have been greater. Inflation, significantly higher than during the consultation on 2021 airport charges, is not part of the agreement. Adjusted for inflation and regulations, the evolution of prices since 2014 actually shows a downward trend. »
In addition to the lack of security personnel, airlines and service providers have also suffered from changes in the labor market following the COVID-19 pandemic, which also led to a decrease in flights. And some travel restrictions were still in effect in 2022 as well.
The determination of airport charges at Schiphol is strictly regulated by legislation. Simply put, Schiphol is not allowed to profit from airport charges. If Schiphol’s revenue from airport charges exceeds the costs borne by the airlines, the additional revenue is paid (“returned” to the airlines). In this case, airport charges for the following year are lower. This happened not too long ago, between 2016 and 2019.
Conversely, this also means that Schiphol pays the difference when costs exceed airport fee revenues. Aside from the pandemic years, the last time this happened was in 2014. “Nevertheless, Schiphol airport charges remain competitive compared to other international hubs”, says Schiphol. The airport charges that airlines pay to Schiphol are spent on the facilities and services they use. This includes maintenance of tracksthere securitymaintenance of terminal and the cleaning.