The rules governing take-offs and landings at Lelystad airport, due to open to commercial aviation next year, will be relaxed to reduce the problems caused by low-flying aircraft, ministers have decided.
Noise is one of the main objections protestors have to the expansion of the airport but ministers hope that rejigging current airspace rules will reduce the problem.
Ministers have now agreed that commercial planes will be able to fly over military bases and will face less stringent rules about avoiding Schiphol traffic.
Both these measures mean aircraft will not have to fly a low altitudes over large parts of the country but will not be implemented until 2021/22, a year after Lelystad should be opened to charter airlines.
Local officials are pleased with the change of heart, local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland said.
‘By relaxing the conditions, aircraft will be able to climb in between Schiphol traffic, meaning they can fly over the Veluwe area further from the ground,’ Ede alderman Leon Meijer told the broadcaster.
However, other groups say the revised take off and landing routes are ‘old wine in new bottles’ and are not yet concrete enough, Omroep Gelderland said.
The government hopes to open Lelystad to holiday traffic in 2020 and so allow Schiphol to focus on more lucrative intercontinental flights. The opening has already been delayed twice and the plan has also run into trouble with Brussels because of competition concerns.
The plan involves forcing some airlines to use the new location, a position which Brussels says breaks fair competition rules. The European Commission is due to give its view on revised plans next month.
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