Schiphol flights to be limited to 11% below 2019 levels to cut noise
After pressure from communities in the Netherlands, the Dutch Parliament has said Schiphol must reduce its flights from 500,000 a year to a maximum of 440,000 by 2023 in order to cut the noise experienced by impacted communities. That cut is 11% less than in 2019 (about 510,000). It is understand from the Dutch aviation campaigners that the mix in the current Dutch Parliament helped. The Netherlands has proportional representation and enough small parties backed the proposals to get it agreed. The decision follows a move by Schiphol itself, in which the Dutch state is the majority shareholder, to impose a cap on the number passengers it can carry this summer – although that was due to staffing shortages. Part of the reason is awareness fo the carbon emissions. Airlines, predictably, are not happy. Greenpeace, which had lobbied for traffic at Schiphol to be reduced, hailed the decision as a “historic breakthrough”. This might be the first time a major airport has been asked to reduce flight numbers.
Schiphol flights to be limited to 11% below 2019 levels to cut noise, emissions
AMSTERDAM, June 24 (Reuters) –
Flights from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will be limited to 440,000 a year, 11% less than in 2019, to cut noise pollution, the Dutch government said on Friday, drawing praise from green groups but dismay from airlines bosses.
The decision follows a move by Schiphol itself, in which the Dutch state is the majority shareholder, to impose a cap on the number passengers it can carry this summer – although that was due to staffing shortages. read more
The government also pointed to the airport’s impact on “nature and climate” for the cuts, following criticism from environmental campaigners and the left-wing opposition for its greenhouse gas and nitrogen oxide emissions.
The move is intended to restore “the balance between a well-operating international airport, the business climate, and the interests of a better and healthier living environment”, Transportation Minister Mark Harbers said in a statement announcing the decision.
“This is a difficult message for the aviation sector that is still recovering from the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), said the move, due to come into effect from the start of next year, would be “highly detrimental” and it would harm the country’s reputation as a reliable place to do business.
“It does not tally with the desire to retain a strong hub function” for Schiphol, and it would “fail to improve our quality of life and climate”, KLM said.
IATA General Director Willie Walsh called the decision “a shocking blow”.
“It comes on top of a tripling of the passenger tax, and a 37% rise in airport charges,” he said.
Greenpeace, which had lobbied for traffic at Schiphol to be reduced, hailed the decision as a “historic breakthrough”.
“It’s good that the cabinet now realises that Schiphol has been flying past all limits for years”, spokesperson Dewi Zloch said.
Buyers of new homes near Schiphol airport to get official warnings about aircraft noise (to avoid future complaints)
People moving into new homes close to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport will be warned about aircraft noise before they move in, and the warning will become part of sales contracts. Agreement on an official aircraft noise warning has been reached between the Dutch junior infrastructure minister, Schiphol airport, airline KLM and local and provincial governments. While no new homes are being built directly under flight paths, thousands of houses are being built in areas where noise is likely to be a problem – as aircraft noise is heard some way from the direct line of a flight path. In particular, 4,500 new homes are being built south-east of Amsterdam close to the Buitenveldert runway and there are other building projects in areas where aircraft noise will have to be taken into consideration. People are told they can then not complain about plane noise, so the aviation industry will not be faced with extra costs and further expansion of housing stock will be made possible. It has already been agreed that municipalities and provinces will point out the new residents to potential inconvenience. Municipalities will not submit requests to change the flight path routes. The aim is that housing can not block further aviation growth after 2020.
Why Schiphol will never become ‘Heathrow’s 3rd runway’ – it has tight noise and ATM limits
We are routinely told that, if Heathrow doesn’t expand, people from other UK airports like Newcastle, Edinburgh and Liverpool will choose to fly to Schiphol (Amsterdam) to interchange onto long-distance flights. The CEO of Schiphol Airport has even rather cheekily called it ‘Heathrow’s third runway’ or referred to Amsterdam as “London’s 2nd hub.” However, John Stewart explains that this is not a situation that can continue indefinitely. Though Schiphol has 5 runways, in reality only two can be used at one time. And unlike airports in the UK, Schiphol has strict noise regulations about which runways can be used, and when. The use of the two runways which go over densely-populated areas is avoided whenever possible. Schiphol has almost reached its permissible noise limits, with around 425,565 flights last year – and a limit of 510,000 per year (cf. 480,000 at Heathrow). When the noise from planes using one runway reaches a certain point, no more is allowed in that year, and traffic should be diverted to alternative runways. The system in use at Schiphol to protect residents from aircraft noise is more rigorous than in the UK, and the Dutch take their noise responsibilities on aircraft noise too seriously to allow Schiphol to become effectively a UK hub.