Climate activists target private jets at Schiphol airport

Activists blockading a private jet. Photo: Remko de Waal ANP
Activists blockading a private jet. Photo: Remko de Waal ANP

Around 500 climate activists climbed over the fence at Schiphol airport on Saturday and held sit-ins in the area where private jets take off and land, in an effort to keep them on the ground.

The campaigners used ladders to breach the airport security fence, and some brought bicycles which they used to move around the location.

Some of campaigners sat under the jets and others chained themselves to the planes outside the VIP terminal. ‘We want fewer flights, more trains and a ban on unnecessary short-haul flights and private jets,’ environmental campaign group Greenpeace said.

The police were out in force and had arrested six people by midday. They later called on all the demonstrators to leave the location or face being physically removed and possibly arrested. Several dozen people were then arrested, website reported.

Earlier protestors held a demonstration in the Schiphol shopping centre, which had been registered and approved by the local council.

Private jets were targeted because, according to Greenpeace, they are the most polluting form of transport.


An investigation by website Follow the Money last month found that private flights to holiday resorts have quickly increased in popularity since coronavirus, with many people using the service for the first time.

Private plane hire companies said their clients want to avoid crowded passenger jets and the chaotic situation at Schiphol, where ordinary travellers have had to wait for hours to go through security checks.

Some 16,147 private flights took off from Amsterdam and Rotterdam airports in the first nine months of 2022, compared to 14,672 in the whole of 2019, according to research by CE Delft for Greenpeace.

‘Although emissions from private flights from the two airports are a relatively small part of the whole of the emissions produced by Schiphol the amount of CO2 produced by these planes still equals that of 40,000 cars for a year,’ said Greenpeace campaign leader Maarten de Zeeuw. ‘These are “luxury emissions” produced by rich people,’ he told FTM.

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