The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released analysis showing that a more competitive air transport sector in the Netherlands could generate 40,000 new jobs and nearly €8 billion in extra GDP for the nation’s economy by 2037.
An IATA study, Netherlands Air Transport Regulatory Competitiveness Indicators, recommends that to maximise the employment and prosperity opportunities created by a successful air transport industry, the Netherlands should increase the cap on aircraft movements and ensure cost-effective expansion of Dutch airports, avoid the introduction of new environmental taxes and continue to maintain slot allocation policy in line with EU and global best practice.
Air transport’s contribution to the economy of the Netherlands is significant.
The industry at present supports 306,000 jobs and contributes €22 billion to the economy, accounting for 3.2 per cent of the Netherlands’ GDP.
If the government pursues an agenda for competitiveness, an extra 40,000 jobs and nearly €8 billion in additional GDP will be generated by 2037.
In contrast, a worrying 84,000 jobs could be lost over the same period if Dutch air transport competitiveness is weakened.
The environment is a key challenge and the aviation industry is 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 hybrid-electric technologies.
If the government of the Netherlands were to encourage such investments, it would not only be demonstrating climate leadership, it would also open up new economic opportunities for the country.
“The Netherlands has always been an open trading nation and aviation has helped drive forward the Dutch economy,” said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional vice president for Europe.
“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.”