Lelystad airport out of favour in most party manifestos

Building under way on the control tower. Photo: Depositphotos.com

The likelihood of Lelystad airport opening to commercial aviation in the coming years has receded further now most parties are against the plan, broadcaster NOS said on Monday.

Almost all election manifestos state that the airport should remain closed to passenger traffic, even though €200 million has been invested in making it ready.

The VVD is the only party which wants to expand the airport as an overflow from Schiphol, but all the other parties which could be potential coalition partners are against or don’t mention it in their manifestos at all.

Local politicians, however, remain hopeful given the job prospects for the region. Lelystad council’s transport chief Dennis Grimbergen told NOS that the city wants to grow to 120,000 workers.

“That means we will have to build 20,000 more homes and where people live, they want to work,” he said. “It is an economic driver for the region. A bigger Lelystad airport can provide 1,000 to 1,500 jobs in the coming 10 years.”

Local opponents of the expansion plan are pleased at the lack of political support but warn that preparations for the opening are still continuing.

The government had hoped to open Lelystad to holiday traffic in 2020 and so allow Schiphol to focus on more lucrative intercontinental flights, but that was delayed by a variety of problems, not least of which was approval from Brussels.

In addition, in 2019 it emerged that the noise calculations for local residents were wrong and that people will suffer far more aircraft nuisance than expected.

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