More noise complaints around Dutch airports after pandemic
People living around the Dutch airports are quicker to complain about air traffic noise after the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a significant reduction in flight movements. While the number of flights is still far below pre-pandemic 2019, the number of complaints increased, AD reports after speaking to the major Dutch airports.
Last month, people living around Schiphol airport filed 21,049 complaints, compared to 18,988 in August 2019. Last months there were 32,000 flights at the Amsterdam airport - significantly lower than the 45,122 flights in August 2019. "It seems plausible that a period of very little air traffic made the increase even more noticeable," a spokesperson for Schiphol said to the newspaper.
The trend was similar at Rotterdam The Hague Airport, where complaints increased from 7,818 to 10,986 and the number of flights increased only slightly from 5,141 in August 2019 and 5,654 in August 2021. At Maastricht Aachen Airport there were 19,185 complaints in the first quarter of this year, much higher than the 12,228 complaints in the first quarter of 2019. While the number of flights decreased from 2,398 to 1,970.
Alfred Blokhuizen of Residents against Flight Nuisance thinks that because of the period of peace the coronavirus travel restrictions brought, local residents only now realized how big the nuisance was. "Only when they suddenly heard birds again, saw a clear blue sky and no longer had to clean their garden furniture every week, did they think: hey, this should be normal."