Protesters at 6 airports call for downsizing aviation
People who live near airports and environmental activists will simultaneously protest at six Dutch airports on Saturday against "the growing nuisance and pollution from air traffic." Demonstrations are planned at Schiphol as well as at the regional airports in Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Maastricht, Groningen and Lelystad.
The demonstrators believe that the aviation sector should shrink significantly. Far fewer planes flew during the coronavirus pandemic, but now that air traffic is picking up again, they say the time has come to intervene.
"The aviation industry has many harmful effects on society," said the protest organization. "The sector makes a major contribution to dangerous global warming, much-needed housing is becoming impossible and public health is at risk from noise pollution, emissions of ultrafine particles and carcinogenic substances."
As far as the activists are concerned, Schiphol must downsize and smaller airports must be closed. This includes Lelystad Airport, which has been thoroughly renovated to handle holiday flights. Whether those planes will ever depart is uncertain, however. Politicians have not yet made a final decision on this and, for the time being, the airport does not have the necessary nature permit.
According to the activists, the airports near Rotterdam and Maastricht should also be closed. A decision on the future of Maastricht Aachen Airport will be made next month in the Provincial Council of Limburg. Closure is one of the possible scenarios.
Speeches and music performances will be held during the demonstrations. A "moment of silence" is planned at 12:05 p.m. The protests are being organized by concerned local residents with the support of organizations such as Greenpeace, Milieudefensie, Urgenda and Extinction Rebellion.
Reporting by ANP