Mixed reactions to the amended government plan for Schiphol

Schiphol is satisfied. “The measures chosen are largely in line with the actions in our own 8-point plan. It is important that we and the ministry continue to talk to local residents to find out whether they actually experience less nuisance, regardless of the number of flight movements,” the airport says.

A night closure would be a big step in this regard, according to Schiphol. “We think it is positive that the government is considering introducing this as of November 2026.”

KLM is very concerned about the plan to ban the Boeing 747-400 during night hours. The entire cargo fleet consists of that type of aircraft, and a successor is not expected until 2026. As a result, this night ban threatens to cause major damage to the freight operation. In addition, KLM believes that outgoing minister Harbers is still focusing too much on shrinkage, even if that shrinkage will be slightly less than previously planned.

Transavia is “surprised” by the measure because no substantive consultation took place. “In addition, a cabinet formation is currently taking place that could possibly lead to a different approach with regard to aviation policy. Transavia is disappointed that the number of night flights is being reduced even further, and that has a major impact on Transavia,” says a spokesperson.

EasyJet has stated that it does not fly at night and is therefore not affected by the measure. “We welcome the ban on the loudest aircraft. This encourages airlines to renew their fleet,” a spokeswoman said. EasyJet has nine aircraft at Schiphol, six of which already belong to the newest and quietest generation (the Airbus A320neo family).

Environmental organizations
Environmental organizations are disappointed. With the government’s plan for 5,000 fewer night flights and fewer noisy aircraft at Schiphol, “we are not making any progress”, say Nature & Environment, the North Holland Environmental Federation, Milieudefensie and Greenpeace Netherlands.

“Minister Harbers is stalling enormously and making local residents happy with a dead sparrow,” the organizations say. “Even Schiphol wants a night closure and 10,000 fewer night flights, so this is a very poor proposal from the cabinet.”

According to the environmental clubs, local residents still don’t know where they stand. “And further slowing down the shrinkage of Schiphol is yet another broken promise. Now there is even more noise and CO2 emissions during the day. That is a huge damper for the climate. It has been clear for years: we need a night closure and significantly fewer flights , for a safe climate and the health of local residents.”

Action group
The Right to Protection against Aircraft Nuisance interest group believes that the outgoing cabinet’s plans for Schiphol are of little significance. “The minister is continuing on the path of: giving something here and taking something there,” says a spokesperson. “We won’t get there that way.”

The action group considers it a good thing that the number of night flights is being reduced and that the loudest aircraft are being banned at night. “You should be happy with that,” says the spokesperson. At the same time, the organization points out that more flights are allowed throughout the year. The total number of flights may increase from 452,500 to 460,000 or 470,000. “Quiet aircraft do not help solve the problem. There are simply too many,” the spokesperson said.

The interest group speaks of a kind of “exchange trick”. “This is still not a way of working for Harbers from which you could conclude that he understands what the judge’s ruling implies. That is: start again with that weighing of interests, instead of: 1000 off here, and then 1500 during the day. These are half measures. The number must be reduced overall, not just at night, but throughout the day.”

Municipality of Amsterdam
The municipality of Amsterdam, an important shareholder of Schiphol, is also disappointed. “We are disappointed in the decision of the outgoing cabinet to slow down the shrinkage of Schiphol. This does not help local residents. The airspace is still not closed at night and restoring the legal position of local residents is taking longer. “, says councilor Hester van Buren.

Read more about the adjusted plans for Schiphol here (free) one Read an extensive response from KLM here (premium).