Environmental Impact Assessment: Development and disturbance

The Environmental Impact Assessment report (MER) lays out the environmental impact of current runway use, in comparison to the way we used to use our runways. The MER also shows the extent of Schiphol’s potential growth in air transport movements – while always staying within the agreed limits – and what the effects of that growth would be on noise, air quality, safety, nature and spatial planning.

Minimising disturbance

The MER provides a factual basis for consultations with the local community. It arose from demand by local residents, authorities and the aviation sector to implement a new system for runway use that causes the least inconvenience to the local community, as well as providing Schiphol the space it needs to develop. As weather conditions permit, Schiphol has used a combination of runways that produces the least possible disturbance since 2010. Click here to read more about noise and runway combinations.

Calculating the environmental impact

Before this system of runway use can be legally implemented, an Environmental Impact Assessment must be carried out. The MER calculates all the environmental effects of noise, air quality and safety on the natural environment and spatial planning. The section on noise nuisance has been calculated according to the most recent European guidelines.

Schiphol Local Community Council

The Environmental Impact Assessment was put to the MER Committee in the summer of 2017 and had a positive outcome. The MER was then sent to the Schiphol Local Community Council (ORS) with explanatory notes. At Schiphol's request, the MER was also critically studied by various experts, residents and the environmental organisation Natuur- en Milieufederatie Noord-Holland.

The future of Schiphol

A draft of the MER was published at the end of November 2018. The report serves as a factual basis for further decision-making about the future of Schiphol. The airport’s starting point will be achieving a balance between the network of destinations that is important to the Netherlands, the quality of life in the area and sustainability. Schiphol strives for safe, moderate and controlled growth, in order to improve quality of life in the environment.

Schiphol’s post-2020 development is now for decision-making by the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. Download the 2020 Schiphol EIA draft here.

On April 21st 2021, Schiphol has received the advice of the Netherlands commission for environmental assessment and will follow up the commission's findings.

More hot topics