No seventh runway for Schiphol airport, Harbers confirms

A plane taking off at Schiphol airport. Photo:

A seventh runway for Schiphol airport has been definitively ruled out, clearing the way for new homes to be built in a nearby village.

Infrastructure minister Mark Harbers confirmed on Tuesday morning that the government is removing its reservation for a strip of land known as the Tweede Kaagbaan, which has been earmarked since 2009.

The decision has been welcomed in the village of Rijsenhout, where plans for new houses have been blocked because a new runway would bring the airport too close to the village to comply with noise regulations.

“The scrapping of the reservation brings clarity and new perspective for Rijsenhout,” Harbers said. “It’s good for the villagers to have that clarity.”

Jurgen Nobel, alderman for the municipality of Haarlemmermeer which includes both Rijsenhout and Schiphol airport, said it was “a huge relief for the residents of Rijsenhout”.

“Instead of fighting for the existence of their village, there is room for them to make plans,” he said.

Harbers has ordered Schiphol to reduce the maximum number of flights per year from 500,000 to 440,000 from November next year, after decades of growth.

However, there are doubts as to whether the plan will be implemented after airlines successfully challenged the decision in court on the grounds that the government had not followed European Union guidelines. Harbers has appealed against the judgment.

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