Schiphol airport is the third busiest European airport. To reduce pollution, they will need to keep traffic below its pre-pandemic peak.
In a bid to reduce noise pollution and air pollution, Schiphol airport will permanently reduce the number of flights. Campaigners described the decision as a “historic breakthrough” that could help curb emissions from the aviation industry.
Schiphol airport will be operational by the end 2023 The third busiest city in EuropeAccording to the Dutch ministry transport, the maximum number of passengers per year will be limited to 440,000, which is 12% less that in 2019. StatementFriday
The flight cuts aim to restore “the balance between a well-operating international airport, the business climate, and the interests of a better and healthier living environment”, transport minister Mark Harbers said in the statement.
The government stated that the airport, which has experienced staff shortages this past year, must limit its growth in order to reduce CO2 and other pollutants like nitrogen oxide. The Netherlands has previously reduced the national speed limit from 100km per hour (62 miles per hour) to reduce nitrogen pollution.
“This is a difficult message for the aviation sector that is still recovering from the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus pandemic,” Harbers said.
Dutch airline KLM described the decision as “highly detrimental” and said “it does not tally with the desire to retain a strong hub function” for Schiphol. The airport stated that it supports a “well-thought-out approach” that helps it achieve its goal of “connecting the Netherlands with the world as an increasingly quieter and cleaner Schiphol.”
Campaigners welcomed this decision and said it sent a clear signal to climate change advocates that curbing aviation demand was necessary in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Antonio Guterres, UN chief, has called for international shipping Aviation targets to be radically boostedThis is in accordance with the Paris Agreement goal to limit global heating to 1.5C.
Global emissions account for 2.1% of aviation. The sector has agreed to an “aspirational goal” to make air travel growth carbon-neutral from 2020, establishing a carbon offsetting scheme to buy emissions reductions in other sectors.
Leo Murray, director of innovation at the NGO Possible, told Climate Home News it was a “world first development which could be hugely significant to global climate efforts.”
“Due to the extreme technical challenges of decarbonising air travel and the slow progress to date, it is almost certain that reducing overall flight numbers – at least temporarily – will be required at the global level to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Murray.
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Murray said that it was unlikely other airports would follow their lead, but the flight limit weakened the argument in favor of expanding rival hubs like Heathrow.
It is the first time that a government has announced a flight cap, Koenraad Backers, director of aviation at the Dutch NGO Nature & Environment, told Climate Home News.
“It has always been growth, growth, growth up till now,” Backers said. “Tolerated is no longer the order of the day; rules also apply to the aviation industry.”
Greenpeace, which lobbied for Schiphol to reduce airport traffic, described the move as a “historic breakthrough.”
“It is good that the Cabinet realises that Schiphol has, for years, been flying beyond all boundaries when it comes to noise, nitrogen, ultrafine particles and the climate,” Dewi Zloch, aviation expert at Greenpeace in the Netherlands, said in a Statement.
Zloch said the cuts don’t go far enough to curb aviation emissions. “This is the impetus. Schiphol needs to finally come up with a plan that takes the Paris Agreement into account,” she said.
Source: Climate Change News