News: Ministry: reduction Schiphol by 1 November unlikely

A lower number of flight movements by 1 November is unlikely to be feasible. That is what minister Harbers of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) announced this week. You can read exactly what that means here.

Published on: 26 January 2024

In the summer of 2022, the Ministry of IenW announced that the number of flight movements to and from Schiphol must be reduced. But we cannot just decide that on our own. To reduce the number of flights, the Dutch government has to follow European rules and international agreements. This is done by a so-called Balanced Approach procedure. On Thursday 24 January, Minister Harbers announced that this procedure is unlikely to be completed before 1 November 2024.

What is the Balanced Approach procedure again?

In the Balanced Approach procedure, targets to reduce noise pollution around Schiphol were set through a package of measures. Interested parties could respond with alternative proposals to achieve those targets.

The ministry submitted the package of proposed measures to the European Commission on 1 September 2023. They are currently considering the package. In the meantime, the Commission has asked the ministry a number of in-depth questions on which additional explanations have been provided. Given the current state of the talks, the minister considers it unlikely that the Balanced Approach procedure will be completed in time for Schiphol to shrink from 1 November 2024. The minister considers it important that the prescribed processes and procedures are followed accurately and therefore wants to take the time needed to reach a proper conclusion.

Schiphol's response

As Schiphol, we understand that the government needs to follow proper procedures. But as far as we are concerned, it really is time that local residents of Schiphol are noticeably less inconvenienced. The need for a night closure of Schiphol becomes even more urgent. As is that for the other measures in our 8-point plan, such as the ban on private flights and keeping out the noisiest aircraft. You can read more about these measures here.

Furthermore, we continue to argue for a new system with clear noise and environmental limits, in which aviation becomes demonstrably cleaner and quieter. That offers prospects for local residents and the industry. We ourselves also continue to implement our 8-point plan.