Significant increase in landing aircraft on the way, concern Utrecht and Gelderland

Significant increase in landing aircraft on the way, concern Utrecht and Gelderland

Air traffic landing in Schiphol is currently approaching the airport from three locations in the Netherlands: from the North Sea off the coast of North Holland, from Rotterdam and from Lelystad. A fourth approach point will be added in two years: in the southeast of Utrecht or southwest of Gelderland.

According to Minister Mark Harpers for Infrastructure and Water Management, this is a result of the reorganization of Dutch airspace. Due to the arrival of the F-35, it is necessary to expand the existing military airspace in the north of the Netherlands. As a result, the smaller military airspace in the southeast of the Netherlands will disappear.

This smaller airspace still means that planes landing from Central Europe, the Middle East and beyond must first fly a little further north, before approaching Schiphol from Lelystad. “It will soon be more efficient,” because planes can fly directly, “resulting in less emissions of harmful substances and less noise pollution.”

Han van Stavren can’t believe it. “In Utrecht you get more noise.” Van Stavren lives in Elst in the southeast of the province of Utrecht. “If this new approach point comes here, it will have a huge impact, because from about two kilometers in height, the air movement will come downward and that’s not there now.”

120 flights per day

Documents that Harpers sent to the House of Representatives show that they relate to 42,000 flights a year. “That’s 120 a day,” says Van Stavren. “And the ministry can claim that those planes will circle villages and nature reserves, but that’s simply not possible, if you want to fly them in direct lines to Schiphol.”

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Klaas Waginaar of Wageningen in Gelderland is also concerned. “Now we have 120 planes leaving per day and coming in at a distance of about 6 km. This is likely, especially in terms of the inconvenience people in Ellesmere feel from air traffic. The new approach point will add 120 incoming aircraft, at 2 altitude at 2.5 km. This is annoying and I personally don’t like it.”

Letters from Utrecht and Gelderland

Messages from the provinces of Utrecht and Gelderland show that their boards of directors are also concerned about what the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee calls “a range of disturbing new noises” at Schiphol Airport. The committee determines the environmental impacts of the project.

“We believe it is important to determine the impacts on the ground,” Utrecht wrote in March 2021. “We do not rule out the possibility that the introduction of the approach point will cause more disturbance on the ground. Can you? Clarify how the tracks will be designed?” asks Gelderland in October of the same year.

“The work of drawing and calculations on the new roads has just begun,” replies Harpers. “We do not yet know where the roads will be in the future. The next two years are being drawn up, what the new roads will look like. After that, there will be another official decision, and in time everyone will be able to think about something. Only when the tracks are fixed will implementation begin.”

‘Ships Sink’

Meanwhile, Wagenaar and Van Staveren read that residents do not like him ‘at all’, because consultation is limited to administrators, social organizations and airspace users. “It will have dire consequences,” Wagnar says. “For tourism in Gelderland, for nature, for house prices, for the possibility of building more.”

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“We are in a climate crisis, a nitrogen crisis and a housing crisis,” Van Stavren notes. Then the Cabinet decided to reorganize the airspace, in order to allow Schiphol to grow in the future and open Lelystad Airport.

Annoyance about Schiphol

3,000 residents near Schiphol launched a lawsuit against the state this summer. They demand a significant reduction in aircraft noise. You can see how bad this annoyance is in this video:

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