Trade association International Air Transport Association (IATA) and airlines are planning a legal challenge against the Dutch Government’s decision to reduce the capacity at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The airport will be required to further cut its annual flight capacity to 460,000 flights from November 2023 from its current cap of 500,000.

Last month, the cap was extended to the summer schedule, with a cap of 66,000 passengers per day imposed for the May holiday period.

This decision aims to reduce pollution and noise levels in the airline industry, with the ultimate goal being a capacity cap of 440,000 from next year.

However, IATA and the airline community saw this reduction as an infringement on EU Regulation 598/2014 on noise-related operating restrictions at EU airports.

In addition, the decision allegedly disregards the binding international agreement, Chicago Convention.

In a statement, IATA said that the government did not conduct proper consultation with industry, and that flight reductions were considered a first resort.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh said: “The Netherlands is handicapping its economy by destroying connectivity. And it is doing it in contravention of EU law and its international obligations.

“The government has even refused to engage in meaningful consultations and made flight reductions the goal, rather than working with industry to meet noise and emissions reduction goals while restoring employment and revitalising the post-pandemic economy.”

Earlier this month, Schiphol Airport operator Schiphol Group submitted an action plan to reduce the use of auxiliary power units (APUs) by stationary aircraft parked on the apron.

In January, Schiphol Group announced its decision to upgrade the baggage basements at the airport.