News: Judge: government pays insufficient attention to Schiphol's local environment

According to a lawsuit filed by local residents, the Dutch government has not sufficiently protected the interests of people living near Schiphol in recent years. What does that mean exactly and what is Schiphol's role in this? We're happy to explain in this article.

Published on: 4 April 2024

On 20 March 2024, the judge gave this verdict in a lawsuit between Stichting Recht op Bescherming tegen Vliehininder (a foundation advocating for the right to protection against noise nuisance from air traffic) and the Dutch State. According to the foundation, the government is acting in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights by not sufficiently protecting local residents against noise nuisance from Schiphol.

Growth first

And the judge agrees with that. According to the court in The Hague, the government has prioritised the hub function and growth of Schiphol in recent years and paid too little attention to the interests of local residents. In addition, the court is of the opinion that the government is acting unlawfully by not sufficiently enforcing the applicable laws and regulations.

Applicable laws and regulations

The ruling means, among other things, that the government must ensure that the applicable laws and regulations (which are laid down in the Airport Traffic Decree, or LVB) are applied and enforced within 12 months. The most recent legally established LVB dates from 2008. Stichting Recht op Bescherming tegen Vliehininder also wanted a court ruling on reducing the number of flight movements, but the judge did not agree. According to the court, it is up to the government to determine whether this is necessary or not.

Less nuisance

Schiphol was not formally a party to the case, but we naturally followed the ruling with great interest. Like local residents, we want aviation to cause less nuisance. At the same time, we want to continue to connect the Netherlands with the rest of the world. We realise that this needs to be done in a better way and that is why we launched our 8-point plan last year. We are committed to, among other things, a night closure and banning the noisiest aircraft to ensure that the number of people who experience nuisance from Schiphol decreases.


In the short term, we believe it is important that legislation is introduced that provides clarity to both local residents and the aviation sector. And that is also the judge's assessment. For the longer term, we strongly support laws and regulations where aviation is held accountable for proven reductions in nuisance and emissions.