Today, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) dismissed North American ACMI and charter operator Kalitta Air’s complaint against The Netherlands, Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) airport authorities and Stichting Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL), following the approval of the new local rule at AMS.
Kalitta Air originally filed a complaint against the Dutch parties above with the DOT on Jan. 29, seeking sanctions or “other appropriate measures” and alleging that the parties named wrongfully withheld slots for Kalitta’s scheduled cargo services. The filing concluded by requesting that the DOT restrict or suspend cargo air transportation by Dutch carriers such as KLM until the situation had been equitably resolved. In its filing, Kalitta also stated that it saw the local rule as a potential remedy to resolving its complaint.
The contention was one of several issues negatively affecting cargo business at AMS, due to the airport’s enforcement of a 500,000 annual movement cap, which led many cargo operators to abandon AMS for nearby competitors. As a result of the slot shortage, AMS saw an approximately 12% decrease in the number of full freighter flights to the airport during IATA winter last year, according to the Dutch air cargo industry association Air Cargo Netherlands, which has long lobbied for a change to the slot requirements cap at AMS.
On 24 April, the Dutch Minister of Transport Cora van Niewenhuizen ultimately approved the implementation of a new local rule for airfreight at AMS, which is intended to counter the effects of slot scarcity and make it easier for cargo operation to adhere to the 80/20 rule necessary to keep slots at AMS. The rule will go into effect beginning Aug. 31.
With the implementation of this new local rule, the US DOT effectively dismissed Kalitta’s complaint and its associated proceedings.