MST, which is located in the south of the Netherlands, has proposed a ban on all older Boeing 747s. They’re looking to catalyze a new fleet of widebody cargo planes that will help reduce noise pollution, and it especially targets those specific aircraft.
Some businesses might face bans, while others may be offered a surcharge
Banning the Boeing 747-200 and the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 from Maastricht International Airport would happen in 2023. The move comes as Israel has decided not to allow quadjets on their airports anymore. It’s understandable, since there are only short-haul flights to Maastricht and widebodies bring cargo to the airport.
While this bill would still allow for a small number of 747-400 aircraft to land in Maastricht, the airport is trying to discourage it’s use by increasing taxes. The CEO of the airport said that “according to old tax rules, [the figure] would be at least 100%.”
As a small regional airport, Maastricht Aachen Airport has been able to stay ahead of the market. Majorly, this has had a significant impact on its economy with the phasing out of 747-200s. Furthermore, canceling 2 regular flights per week not only affects noise pollution and air traffic levels but also decreases income for them as well.
The penalty is worth the financial gain
With this new tax, not only will flights on the Boeing 747-400 be more expensive, but it will also eventually lead to an end of other variants in the fleet. However, operators have a lot of time to prepare, and won’t see this come into effect until 2030.
Maastricht Airport has strong financial incentives to put protecting the environment first. As a co-owner, Roeven has stated that he will prioritize ecological actions.
“It can be challenging to optimize the airport for environmental performance, especially when we have pretty big economical interests there. Whatever measures the City has decided upon, we are behind it and reconsidering our hiring or employment.”
747 incidents have occurred in Maastricht
Although the airfield’s decision to ban the Boeing 747 is not based on safety, it’s still interesting to note that there have been several incidents involving 747s at Maastricht Aachen. For example, here, a Cargolux 747-400F locked its nose gear in mud in 2009 after veering off a taxiway when they were just landing from Nairobi.
There has been a rise in such air disasters in recent years. In February 2021, on its way from Maastricht in the Netherlands to Liège Airport in Belgium, a Longtail 747-400F lost parts of its engine after it experienced an engine failure. The jet then suffered many damages as it rained pieces of the engine down on a nearby village, damaging cars and property. It subsequently diverted to Liège Airport.