Airneth

Spring 2005, a new scientific organization on air transport (called ‘Airneth’) was established at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. On first sight, it is not really clear what the difference with similar networks like ATRS and GARS is, apart from the fact that it is Dutch-based.

Nevertheless, Airneth (managed by aviation economists Jaap de Wit and Guillaume Burghouwt from the UvA) already organized a couple of event of which I attended two. The first event was a symposium called the ‘Mainport Schiphol Debate’ that focused on policy issues with regard to the development of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The symposium was held in the ArenA stadium in Amsterdam and was really well organized. This gathering consisted of two parts: one part consisted of presentations from experts with different perspectives on the theme. The second part was a lively English-parlementary style debate between participants on some controversial postulations. Apart from the fact that the chosen subject for this gathering wasn’t really thrilling (the development of Schiphol Airport is debated in the Netherlands on a continuous basis for decades), I have to say that this first event was very well organized with a high attendance.

The second event took place last Friday in a hotel in Amsterdam and had a more international nature as the theme for this gathering was “The impact of the expansion of Dubai International Airport and Emirates on international airline competition”. Although it was not really clear to me why Airneth organized this event right now, it was again a professional meeting with interesting presentations from experts in the field. A drawback was a lack of any representative from Emirates which could have peppered discussions.

Public frequently held get-togheters on air transport economic subject in the Netherlands seem like a novelty. Jaap de Wit and Guillaume Burghouwt deserve praise for their efforts and I wish them good luck with the development of their Airneth initiative.

If you wish to learn more about the shortly described conferences here, just browse to http://www.airneth.nl for more info.

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