Schiphol expansion would move miles into North Sea in new proposal

Entrepreneurs and residents living around Schiphol composed a proposal to expand the airport into the ocean. The North Sea still has plenty of space and noise will not cause any inconvenience there, according to the proposal. Such a 'sea runway' will bring relief to the entire Haarlemmermeer, the Telegraaf reports.

According to the proposal, an 'IJ-plain' should be constructed in the North Sea near IJmuiden for a new runway for Schiphol. It can eventually also be used to move other noisy runways, such as Buitenveldert and Aalsmeer, away from the airport.

"Air traffic continues to grow. Halting flights is not realistic given the large economic interests for the Netherlands. Moving the entire airport is too expensive. But runways can be located in the sea", researcher Eef Haverkort of the residents group around Schiphol said to the newspaper.

With the opening of Lelystad airport, which was intended to take over some of Schiphol's flights, , experts regard an "outbuilding" into the sea as the only real growth option left for Schiphol, according to the Telegraaf.

In January residents living around Schiphol also handed Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure a report calling for . At the time a Ministry spokesperson said 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."