Saturday, 23 March 2024 17:36

Court Orders Noise Reduction at Schiphol Airport

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Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, one of the busiest aviation hubs in Europe, has found itself at the center of public and legal debate concerning noise. A recent Dutch court ruling, which mandates the government to increase its efforts in reducing noise pollution, highlights the conflict between the development of the aviation sector and the residents' rights to peace.


New Court Guidelines

The Hague District Court stated that the government systematically prioritized the interests of the aviation sector over the welfare of residents living near Schiphol Airport. Such conduct was assessed as a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. "The state has always prioritized the 'hub function' and growth of Schiphol," the court declared, ordering the authorities to undertake more effective actions to limit noise.

Reactions and Implications

The court's decision was positively received by organizations fighting for residents' rights and environmental protection. The group "The Right to Protection from Aircraft Nuisance," which brought the case, expressed satisfaction with the verdict. "The court ruled that the state did not properly weigh interests: economic interests were always central, residents were at the bottom of the pecking order. This can no longer be the case," the group commented.

The Stay Grounded campaign network also welcomed the verdict, pointing to it as a precedent for airports worldwide. "If we want to seriously consider the health of residents and the approaching climate crisis, we must limit the number of flights at airports," said Magdalena Heuwieser, a spokesperson for the network.

Directions for Schiphol Airport Actions

In response to the court ruling, Schiphol Airport declared that it is working on reducing noise pollution. "Just like those residents, we want aviation to cause fewer nuisances. At the same time, we want the Netherlands to remain connected to the rest of the world, but quieter, cleaner, and better," the airport stated. Among the proposed measures were closing the airport at night and banning the noisiest airplanes, which is expected to reduce the number of people experiencing noise nuisance.