Plans for new flight route causing unrest in Utrecht
The government’s plans for a fourth approach route to Schiphol Airport over the province of Utrecht is causing great unrest among local residents and -politicians. Utrecht politicians urged the Cabinet to abandon the plans, citing concerns for noise and other pollution caused by low-flying aircraft, RTL Nieuws reports.
Planes to Schiphol currently approach the airport from three locations in the Netherlands. Minister Mark Harbers (Infrastructure) wants to add a fourth approach route to distribute the nuisance caused by air traffic more fairly across the country. Utrecht is right under that fourth route.
“The plan is causing great concern,” provincial administrator Rob van Muilekom said. “In the province, all municipalities, and many residents.” According to him, the approach route could result in a low-flying aircraft across the province every seven to eight minutes. And we don’t want that, the province said.
“That will cause a huge increase in nuisance for many people. People sleep less due to noise pollution, but the quality of nature reserves will also deteriorate due to the approach route. Think of the emission of substances.” The province also worries about its quiet areas. “We really want to keep those quiet.”
In their letter to Minister Harbers, the Utrecht politicians asked that the government takes their concerns seriously. “We want to be more involved in decision-making,” Van Muilekom said.
They want the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, to vote on the new route. The Cabinet wanted to make the decision itself, but according to Utrecht, the impact is too great for the Tweede Kamer not to have a say.
The local politicians also want to take the discussion beyond a new flight route. “We believe that Schiphol should not be allowed to grow any further. The nuisance is far too great not only in Utrecht but throughout the country. So we say: aviation must not grow. It really should be less.”