News: Less CO2 and noise nuisance with higher tax for long-haul flights

Last weekend, de Volkskrant newspaper published an article about a joint Schiphol, BARIN and KLM report from 2023 that looked at the impacts of contraction and various environmental measures. You can read the conclusions of the report and what we have done with those conclusions here.

Published on: 7 March 2024

Cost-benefit analysis

Schiphol, KLM and aviation industry association BARIN commissioned a social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) in 2023. We asked research institutes SEO, CE Delft, Significance and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) to investigate what the costs and benefits are regarding the government's plan to make Schiphol contract to a maximum of 440,000 flights per year. We also asked for an alternative to limit noise nuisance and CO2 emissions.

Higher flight tax

One of the scenarios investigated demonstrated that raising flight tax for long-haul flights would be a good solution. At the moment, every passenger departing from our airport pays € 29.05 in air passenger duty. This applies whether you're flying to Brussels or to Sydney. The study showed that this tax should be higher when you fly longer distances.

Twofold effect

The effect of raising the tax is twofold, according to the researchers. Firstly, it would lead to a decrease in long-haul flights and consequently in CO2. Intercontinental flights currently make up 20 percent of all flights at Schiphol while producing 80 percent of all CO2 emissions. If the number of long-haul flights decreased, so would the amount of CO2 we produce. And, as we were already aware of, that is essential. In order to align with the Paris Agreement, we need to emit at least 30 less CO2 in 2030 than in 2019. And that's not something we can achieve solely with cleaner aircraft.

Less nuisance

According to the researchers, raising the air passenger duty for long-haul flights would also have an effect on noise nuisance in the area. That's because smaller aircraft are used for flights within Europe. And those are often the aircraft that cause the least noise nuisance. If the number of large planes decreased, nuisance experienced by our neighbours would also decrease.

Reducing the impact of flying

We have shared the conclusions of the report with the relevant ministries, and we have started working on the recommendations. In our 8-point plan, for example, we advocate keeping the noisiest planes and business jets away from Schiphol and we call for a night curfew. We remain committed to reducing the impact of flying on our surroundings and the environment. You can find the full report (in Dutch) here.