The European Commission has blocked the Dutch government's plan to introduce traffic distribution rules (VVR) which would relocate some point-to-point flights from Amsterdam Schiphol to Lelystad.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen told the parliament (Tweede Kamer) on December 4 that the government subsequently decided to withdraw the proposed action.

"Because I no longer foresee the approval of this VVR, the notification has been withdrawn. I am in agreement with the European Commission to design an adapted VVR that does justice to the goal wherein Lelystad Airport will function as an overflow airport of Schiphol and on the other hand will meet the concerns of the European Commission," van Nieuwenhuizen said in a letter to the members of parliament.

While the minister herself did not go into details as to the reason of the EU's decision, the Financieele Dagblad has reported that the proposed VVR was deemed incompatible with the European competition law. In particular, the European Commission pointed out that the rules would unfairly benefit Schiphol with no benefits to other airports.

According to the current plan of the Dutch government, Lelystad is due to open for commercial operations in 2020. The authorities want the airport to take over point-to-point traffic such as charter flights and low-cost carrier operations, particularly during peak hours at Schiphol.

The main Dutch gateway has already reached the annual threshold of 500,000 movements, imposed mostly due to noise concerns. As such, Amsterdam has no room for further growth.

The opening of Lelystad has been opposed by the local residents. The airport, located some 50 kilometres west from Schiphol, currently serves as a general aviation and training facility.