Hard landing for Lelystad airport as MPs vote against opening

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

A large majority of MPs have voted in favour of a motion to stop Lelystad airport opening to commercial traffic, but the far right PVV and the VVD are in favour.

The motion, drawn up by the pro-animal PvdD, is also backed by the other two parties in talks on forming a new government – the pro-countryside BBB and NSC, set up by former Christian Democrat Pieter Omtzigt.

Opponents of opening the airport say that climate issues, public health and the nitrogen issue mean it is no longer responsible to open a new civilian airport at such a location. The airport is currently used by private jets and a flying school.

The plan was developed to relieve pressure on Schiphol when it was approaching its maximum capacity. Over the years support for the plan has ebbed away, but the government continued to invest in preparing the location for holiday flights. In total, some €250 million has been put into the project, which would have served 68 flights a day, according to the Telegraaf.

The Schiphol airport group, which owns Lelystad, said it is “disappointed” in the decision. “We think that Lelystad airport would be good for the Dutch airport network,” the state-owned group said. “Schiphol had hoped to transfer night flights to Lelystad and we must now wait and see what the next government does.”

Aviation sector lobby group Barin told the Telegraaf the decision is a “slap in the face for holidaymakers and bad for people living near Schiphol” because moving some flights to Lelystad would have cut problems elsewhere.

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.

Many charter airlines too were opposed to being forcibly moved to Lelystad, which is without a direct link to Schiphol or a train connection.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation