Schiphol wants to slash private flights by half to cut down on noise pollution
Schiphol supports the government’s plan to cut the number of private flights from the airport to reduce noise and environmental pollution. The airport wants to cut the number of private flights by half, according to a proposal Schiphol management sent to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, RTL Nieuws reports.
As of this autumn, Schiphol must adhere to the noise standards. To achieve this, the Cabinet is limiting flight movements to and from the airport to 460,000 per year, with the intention to cut it to 440,000 per year later. Schiphol is willing to cut down to 460,000 flight movements, but no further and with the possibility to grow again in the future.
Private jets contribute to noise and environmental pollution, while each plane only transports a handful of people. Schiphol wants to give private jets only 2.5 percent of its annual flight movements, much less than now, according to the broadcaster.
A total of 22,372 private jets departed or landed at Schiphol in 2022. Under the proposed rules, that would be no more than 11,500 per year - almost half, Het Parool reported.
KLM would welcome the measure, CEO Marjan Rintel told Parool. “Small aviation is responsible for 20 percent of the noise nuisance at Schiphol,” she said.
The EBAA, the trade association for companies renting out and managing private aircraft, is against the idea. According to the association, private flights contribute a lot to the economy. “The corporate aviation industry is an important engine and provides 9,000 jobs in the sector and 2 billion euros per year in economic growth in the Netherlands.” a spokesperson said to RTL Nieuws. “This sector, in particular, has a good reputation for innovation and investment.”
The EBAA disputes the idea that private jets cause a lot of pollution. “The aircraft in the sector are quieter and more sustainable than those of regular aviation because they are often smaller and newer.”
But, while it might be true that a private jet causes less noise and emissions than a jumbo jet, the pollution per passenger transported is much higher for private flights, according to a study CE Delft did for Greenpeace last year. The researchers concluded that a private flight is, on average, 5 to 7 times more polluting per person than a commercial flight, depending on the aircraft type.
The number of private flights has grown rapidly in recent years, previous research by RTL showed. One in ten private flights in the Netherlands and Flanders is shorter than 200 kilometers. And most of these super-short flights are positioning flights in which the jet flies without passengers to be stationed at an airport as close as possible to where its passenger is staying.
The Dutch government’s planes also do this. A flight by the government plane PH-GOV between Rotterdam and Amsterdam - a regular occurrence, according to RTL - uses about 1,000 liters of kerosene.