Schiphol Airport crimps boaters’ style
SCHIPHOL - Boaters near Schiphol Airport will soon face an odd challenge: a new rule forcing tall-mast craft sailing close to an airport runway to seek clearance for passage. Until now, only boats with masts taller than 23m had to check in with the airport by radio. Because of aviation security concerns, that height limit has been reduced to 14m.
The new rule takes effect in July on the Ringvaart (photo), a canal that comes to within 300 meters of the end of a Schiphol Airport runway. The popular waterway is part of an “upright mast” network that lets boaters cross the western Netherlands on canals, rivers and lakes without having to lower their rigs. The lower-mast rule means most of the 3,500 boats taking the route annually will have to call in to the airport seeking clearance for passage.
The measure is part of a broader package of height rules that also apply to trees, buildings and construction cranes. Schiphol Airport says it understands the hassle and is seeking a workable solution to ease boaters’ chagrin.