Herman de Wulf/BRUSSELS

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has imposed a new sliding scale of landing fees for Chapter 3 aircraft from 1 August, as well as a 20% surcharge on night-time operations.

The new fees for Chapter 3-compliant types are broken into three categories, varying according to the level of noise they generate. Category 1, covering the least noisy aircraft, includes new generation types such as the Boeing 777 and MD-11. These receive a 2.5% discount on the basic landing fee and, as Schiphol raised fees by this amount in June, operators will be paying the original rate.

Slightly noisier aircraft, such as the Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A300, fall into category 2 and operators will pay the basic fee. Category 3 includes older widebodies, such as the Lockheed L-1011 TriStar and hushkitted aircraft like the McDonnell Douglas DC-8/9. Operators will have to pay a 7.5% surcharge on the standard fee.

Chapter 3 aircraft operators will also pay an extra 20% for take-off or landing between 23:00 and 06:00. Night time operations of Chapter 2 aircraft have been banned since November 1996, having previously been subject to a 50-100% surcharge. The ratio of Chapter 2 aircraft operating into Schiphol has now been reduced from 15% of the total in 1995 to 2% in the second quarter of 1998.

The move sets a precedent which other airports in Europe may follow, although they will face stiff opposition from airlines which feel that Schiphol is unilaterally adopting a "Chapter 3.5", rather than waiting for tougher legislation now being discussed to take the industry to Chapter 4.

The restrictions have done little to curb Schiphol's growth. Aircraft movements are up by 10% in the first six months of this year, compared with 1997.

Source: Flight International