The bright sparks at the Schiphol airport group are terribly good at getting exactly what they want and persuading the government to constantly move the goal posts. Years ago, the government set strict noise limits for aircraft and imposed a limit on the number of flights that people living close by would have to suffer.
And every so often, the airport authority comes along with dire warnings that flights will be cancelled and everyone will be in terrible trouble unless the agreed limits are made more generous. And every time, there is a lot of hand-wringing from politicians before they bow down and give Schiphol exactly what it wants.
Now is no different. The limit of 430,000 landings and take-offs is set to be broken this year so one runway will have to be closed and flights will have to be cancelled, says Schiphol. So, surprise surprise, a committee under the leadership of the queen’s commissioner in Groningen – about as far away from Schiphol as you can get – recommends that the limit be jacked up to 480,000.
And amazingly, it says that everyone (airport officials, local councils and people living under the flight paths) agree. Not so, say local councils which border the airport and were not invited to the talks, while residents groups too are wondering exactly who the committee consulted.
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