Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) will start the consultation procedure for the new noise system for Schiphol on 2 March. The so-called New Standards and Enforcement System prescribes that Schiphol uses the runways that, given the circumstances (for example weather and visibility), cause the least disruption to the surrounding area. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate enforces this.

Before the Christmas recess, the cabinet has approved the amendment to the current Schiphol Airport Traffic Decree, which legally anchors the noise system on the basis of which Schiphol already flies in practice. The legal embedding means an end to the anticipatory enforcement by ILT. In doing so, the Cabinet is responding to the widely shared wish in the House of Representatives and the Schiphol area for a system that is more flexible, transparent and easier to explain than the old system with enforcement points. This system was already broadly laid down in the Aviation Act in 2016; the underlying Airport Traffic Decree was delayed by the court ruling on nitrogen.

Amended Airport Traffic Decree

Now that the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality has published the draft decision for the nature permit for Schiphol and the underlying appropriate assessment, the review procedure for the amended Airport Traffic Decree for Schiphol is also starting. In the amended Airport Traffic Decree, the exceptions to use a fourth runway are restricted. The maximum number of night flights will also be reduced from 32.000 to a maximum of 29.000. The amended Airport Traffic Decree establishes the number of aircraft movements that were handled at Schiphol before the outbreak of the current pandemic.

This means that, after the current crisis, Schiphol may handle a maximum of 500.000 aircraft movements per year. An article has been included in the Airport Traffic Decree that offers the possibility, after the current sharp decline in the number of aircraft movements within strict international rules, to return to the maximum capacity of 500.000 as much as possible in a controlled manner. A so-called target value is also being introduced: by comparing the annual nuisance against this target value, it becomes clear whether and to what extent the aviation sector continues to succeed in reducing nuisance in the vicinity of Schiphol.

Schiphol has mapped out the effects of the 500.0000 aircraft movements in an environmental impact report that will also be made available for inspection. The draft decision for the nature permit for Lelystad Airport was recently published by the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Schiphol Group uses part of the available nitrogen space at Schiphol for this purpose. The first 10.000 aircraft movements at Lelystad Airport are thus licensed via external netting, in order to bridge the period until the legalization of the reports that the Ministry of Agriculture is working on. 

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen also recently published the traffic distribution rule for Schiphol and Lelystad Airport, which can be used to strengthen Schiphol's international network and to operate holiday flights from Lelystad Airport. Preparations for Lelystad Airport have been completed with the appropriate assessment and the publication of the VVR. Final decision-making on this is up to a new cabinet and parliament. The national government reports this on them website.

Read also: Schiphol is testing self-driving baggage vehicles

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