Move Schiphol expansion to the sea: local residents

KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol Airport
KLM Boeing 737-700, PH-BGP at Schiphol AirportSaschaporsche / Wikimedia Commons

Schiphol can expand with takeoff and landing strips on the coast, residents living around the Amsterdam airport state in a report that will be handed to Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management on Tuesday. They hope that this report will prompt the minister to investigate alternatives to growing the airport in its current location, BNR reports.

According to the local residents, Lelystad Airport, which is set to take over some of Schiphol's air traffic to relieve pressure on the busy Amsterdam airport, will not be able to meet the demand in the long term.

Increasing the number of runways at Schiphol is unacceptable, the local residents state, according to the broadcaster. They fear an irreversible deterioration of the environment around Schiphol if alternatives are not quickly examined. The local residents worry that expanding Schiphol where it is will lead to "draconian measures" such as the abolition of environmental regulations, the demolition of residential areas, and too high levels of noise pollution. 

The residents' proposal was met with mixed reactions in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. VVD parliamentarian Remco Dijkstra called the plans unrealistic. The D66 finds the plans interesting if they are technically feasible. GroenLinks finds the plans unnecessary, because the party thinks that the airport doesn't need to grow further.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management told BNR that thorough research into runways at sea was done in the past, but "this proved to be an unrealistic option in connection with the great risks of flight safety and high costs."