The Netherlands

On behalf of the team

On 19 October 2021, the summons in preliminary relief proceedings of International Air Transport Association (IATA) v. Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL) was entered into the central register for class actions.[1] IATA is an association of airlines that promotes the interests of the aviation industry and the interest of free and efficient aviation. It has committed itself worldwide to compliance with slot allocation regulations. ACNL is a legal entity under public law to which legal personality has been conferred pursuant to Article 8a.64(2) of the Aviation Act (Wet luchtvaart). It has implemented a new policy rule for the allocation of slots at the Dutch airports Schiphol, Eindhoven and Rotterdam-The Hague.

IATA wishes to prevent ACNL from interfering, without having the power to do so, by means of a policy rule (Policy Rule Additional Allocation Criteria), with the free choice of airlines to fly routes to and from Dutch airports. IATA asserts that the policy rule has a highly negative effect on the worldwide system of slot allocation (or at least the European part thereof). It is also against the law and unlawful vis-à-vis IATA and its members. This is because by doing so, ACNL is infringing on the division of powers ensuing from European regulations.

IATA therefore requests that the Preliminary Relief Judge prohibit ACNL from implementing the policy rule. It also argues that ACNL itself adopted this policy rule without having it assessed and approved by the European Commission.