Schiphol causes more noise pollution than airport reports: environmental group

A plane approaches Schiphol Airport
A plane approaches Schiphol AirportPhoto: @Schiphol / Twitter

People living around Schiphol airport experience much more noise pollution than Schiphol itself reports, Natuur- en Milieufederatie Noord-Holland said based on its analysis of nuisance experience investigations by GGD organizations in the municipalities around the airport, ANP reports.

According to the environmental federation, 198 thousand people experienced serious noise pollution in 2016. Schiphol's calculations showed that 138,500 people were affected. Natuur- en Milieufederatie Noord-Holland found that 40 thousand people experienced sleep disturbance due to the noise, twice as high as the 19,500 Schiphol reported.

A recent study by the National Aerospace Institute showed that the difference between Schiphol's theoretical calculation and the actual noise pollution is between 1 and 2 decibels, the federation said. "For Schiphol, 1 decibel means 25 percent (125 thousand) extra flight movements. The airport makes full use of that", federation director Sijas Akkerman said, according to the news wire. "If the government were to look at the actual noise, Schiphol would have to shrink instead of growing."

"The number of people affected can be determined using various methods", a spokesperson for Schiphol said to the news wire in a reaction. "We use the method that the government has determined." Schiphol has the same goal as the environmental federation, according to the spokesperson. "We want to understand and reduce the nuisance. We also support the Minister's approach to give measuring noise, in addition to calculations, a bigger role."