Dutch MPs are calling for a reduction in the number of night flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, and some are calling for a total ban, RTL Nieuws said on Thursday.
MPs are due to debate the aviation sector with transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen later in the day, following the publication of new recommendations for the industry last week.
In that publication, the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure said ministers should ensure the aviation sector is set clear limits in terms of airport noise, other nuisance, pollutants and safety.
In particular, it recommended bringing in lower limits on the number of night flights, which, the council said, damage the health of people living close to airports.
Currently there are some 32,000 night-time take-offs and landings at Schiphol, but their number has been increasing. ‘The night is filling up,’ ChristenUnie MP Eppo Bruins said. ‘Fewer night flights would be a sensible target.’
The Liberal democratic party D66, which is part of the current coalition, says it supports a total ban, in line with the situation at Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
Most night flights involve cargo planes and cheap holiday flights, so a ban would not impact on KLM, D66 parliamentarian Jan Paternotte said.
GroenLinks also backs a total ban on flying at night.
However, the ruling right-wing Liberal party VVD says decisions first need to be taken about Lelystad airport, which the government wants to open to commercial traffic next year, despite local objections.
‘Scrapping night flights is an option, but you have to look wider, because that could lead to more pressure during the day,’ MP Remco Dijkstra told RTL.
However, KLM said last year that a ban on night flights would threaten its charter airline Transavia which flies to many Mediterranean destinations in the early hours.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.