Cabinet thinks about drastic measures In Schiphol, such as the possible sharp drop in the number of flights. The airport does not comply with nitrogen and nuisance regulations.
But Schiphol does not intend to reduce the number of flights to and from the airport, CEO Dick Pinshop says in news hour. He is instead considering a cautious increase to the current cap of 500,000. “Nobody says, not even me, let’s go for 600,000 moves. If you want to go further, you have to argue it well.”
Housing construction in question
The current number of flights is already causing more and more problems. Serious noise disturbance to local residents increased From 2010 to 2018 by half. “The peak was in 2018,” Benchoub asserts. But: the decline after 2018 was due to a significant decrease in the number of flights due to the Corona crisis. The inconvenience is expected to return to its previous level soon.
This disturbing noise means not only sleep problems for local residents, but also construction problems for the municipalities near Schiphol. They are not allowed to build in the so-called restricted area due to inconvenience, or municipalities must be able to explain why they want to build there.
For example, the municipality of Amstelveen wants to build 2,500 student homes on a vacant plot on the municipal border with Amsterdam. But the Inspectorate for the Human Environment and Transport (ILT) has stopped it because only limited construction is allowed in this area.
However, the municipalities of Alsmere, Harlemmermeer and Authorn also suffer from “concrete limitations” due to noise pollution, according to ILT. That’s while the new government wants to speed up housing construction nationwide to about 100,000 homes a year, according to the coalition agreement.
Benchob acknowledges, “We must ensure that our footprint, that map, is less dangerous Hold people, more space for other activities. “Growth is no longer Schiphol’s goal, our goal is to maintain the aviation network and its quality with lower emissions and less noise pollution.”
But Matt Pullmans, who is sitting at the table on behalf of locals in talks with Schiphol, finds the promise “absolutely incredible”. “In 2008, an agreement was reached to allow Schiphol to grow to 500,000 flights per year if it were to reduce noise pollution. Ten years later, the number of flights had increased, but noise pollution had already increased.”
Cut flights in half?
In the meantime, there are also concerns about the Schiphol’s nitrogen emissions. A judge ruled that the airport needed a nature permit quickly. But without drastic measures, Schiphol can only obtain a permit for about 400,000 flights a year, lawyers say.
“A nature permit like this says how much nitrogen you are allowed to release, and therefore actually how much damage you can do to nature,” says environmental activist Johann Wollenbrück. Thanks to his work, the judge wiped Dutch nitrogen policy off the table in 2019, as a result of which the entire country was suddenly forced to adhere to nitrogen standards.
“If you, for example, don’t have such a permit as a farmer, you have to make sure you get one in a year or two, or else you can close the tent,” he says. “But Schiphol hasn’t had such a permit in 25 years, and it still doesn’t apply. We don’t think that’s true.”
Farmer Gilly Fink has such a statement and fears he will have to downsize while Schiphol is saved:
According to Vollenbroek, the number of flight movements could easily be halved if the Netherlands and Schiphol did not adhere to the “central function” of the airport, with many flights and transfers to all kinds of countries. “These transformers ensure that a lot of things stop in the Netherlands,” says Wollenbroek.
“If you make a trade-off between the two, wouldn’t you choose to remove the transformers, so you can build more homes again?” Pullmans agrees: “You can’t build without shrinkage.”
But CEO Benschop believes Schiphol will obtain a nature permit without additional action. He stresses that Schiphol is a small source of nitrogen compared to the entire agricultural sector. “And we are working very hard to reduce our emissions ourselves.”
This also applies to carbon dioxide emissions, he says. Schiphol wants to make it greener, for example by developing electric aviation. “We are the jewel in the crown for the business climate. We also want to play a leading role in the Netherlands in the area of sustainability.”
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