Locals head for court amid Schiphol noise rules ‘shambles’

An air traffic control tower at Schiphol airport. Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

People living close to Schiphol airport are taking government inspectors to court for failing to take action against excessive aircraft noise, the Volkskrant reported on Tuesday.

New norms to govern the noise of aircraft taking off and landing have not been officially approved but inspectors are no longer applying the old rules, which means airlines and the airport authority face no sanctions for infringing them, the paper said.

The paper bases its claims on correspondence between the inspectorate and locals ahead of the court hearing. A spokesman admitted to the paper that all inspectors have been doing is monitoring noise levels and discussing them with the airport authorities.


The maximum number of aircraft movements – take-offs and landings – allowed at Schiphol has been set at 500,000 but the airport is already nearing that figure. And the government is also under pressure from the aviation sector and employers organisation VNO-NCW which says more planes should be able to take off or land at Schiphol than permitted under certain conditions.

Eerlijker Vliegen (Fair Flying), a lobby group campaigning to cut back on flying, says all Dutch airports are getting busier and the Netherlands will never be able to meet the Paris climate agreements if the government doesn’t take action.

It also wants politicians to pay more attention to the manipulation of figures about noise nuisance and the economic importance of airports, the paper said.

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