Noise complaints against Schiphol increased by 7% last year

Photo: Benjamin van Waart/Flickr

The number of complaints about excessive noise by planes at Schiphol airport increased by 7% in the last year, according to the organisation set up to liaise with local residents.

The increase was in line with the heaver traffic at Schiphol in 2023, the first year since 2019 not to be affected by pandemic restrictions. The total number of take-offs and landings was up by 8%.

The biggest rise in complaints was in Uithoorn and surrounding villages, which are closest to the Aalsmeerbaan. The runway came back into service in 2023 after a spell of maintenance and took some flights from the Kaagbaan, where repair work began later in the year.

The runway has also been busier at peak times because air traffic to the far east has had to be rerouted since the closure of Russian air space.

BAS (Bewoners Aanspreekpunt Schiphol), which compiled the figures for its annual report, was set up in 2007 by the air traffic control authorities and Schiphol airport as a contact point for local residents.

Heavy cargo planes, evening flights and large passenger airliners are the biggest source of complaints. Altogether BAS received 187,065 complaints about noise, compared to 173,860 in 2022.

BAS also noted that complaints about specific flights increased by 17% last year, but general complaints about noise over a longer period of time were 2% lower than in 2022.

The figures exclude frequent users of the service, defined as anyone who racks up more than 500 complaints a year. In 2023, 85 people were classed as serial complainers.

“There is an established group of people who are on the phone to us a lot,” BAS manager Vanessa de Boer told NH Nieuws. “It’s not a call centre network, we regard them with a great deal of empathy.”

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