30% of flights at Schiphol have “no benefit” for Dutch economy


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Three in 10 flights that take off and land at Schiphol contribute virtually nothing to the Dutch economy, according to a new study.

Researchers found that the economic benefit of many flights, particularly transfers, is cancelled out by the damage to public health and the environment from factors such as noise pollution and nitrous oxide emissions.

The study, commissioned by environmental lobby organisation Natuur & Milieu, comes at a time when the government is aiming to cut the number of flights at the hub airport by 10% to just over 450,000 a year.

The outgoing cabinet has submitted its plans to the European Commission for approval, but it faces a backlash from both the domestic aviation industry and airlines in other countries, such as the US, which is threatening retaliatory action if their landing slots at Schiphol are taken away.

Researcher Paul Peeters, of Breda University of Applied Sciences, said Schiphol’s significance to the Dutch economy had been exaggerated and was based on outdated projections.

“The government began its policy of letting Schiphol grow when the airport was quite a bit smaller,” he told NOS Radio 1. “If you keep on growing, extra flights deliver progressively smaller benefits. That’s the situation we’re in now.

“At the same time, Schiphol is situated in a very heavily populated area and a lot of people are affected by it.”

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