Conflict over Schiphol emergency leadership

17th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

17 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — Safety concerns at Schiphol Airport has sparked a conflict between the Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer councils over which municipality must lead the response in the event of a large-scale emergency.

17 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — Safety concerns at Schiphol Airport has sparked a conflict between the Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer councils over which municipality must lead the response in the event of a large-scale emergency.

The airport is situated in the Haarlemmermeer municipality area. Fons Hertog, the local mayor, shares responsibility for both the police and the Marechaussee, or military police, with the director of the district's police department, Haarlem Mayor Jaap Pop.

Under regional agreements, Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen is in charge of the fire brigade and ambulance services, new service NOS reported on Monday.

But Pop believes that Schiphol should be declared an autonomous safety risk, under the leadership of Mayor Hertog.

He said if Schiphol came under the authority of Amsterdam, this would lead to an "unacceptable" reduction and weakening of the local police region and a weakening of the Haarlem prosecution's office.

The involved ministers were due to meet on Monday with Interior Minister Johan Remkes and Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner to discuss the issue.

It was revealed last week that the chance a major air disaster could occur at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is double what it was 15 years ago, breaching legislation allowing the threat to be no greater than the level in 1990.

The report — compiled by the Government Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM) and the National Air and Space Travel (NLR) — is now with Environment State Secretary Pieter van Geel and is to be presented to the Dutch Parliament.

The Aviation Law, which was passed in 2001, states that the total risk at the end of this year must not be higher than the 1990 level. Hague Court confirmed the law in a ruling 12 months ago in a case brought forward by the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth (Vereniging Milieudefensie.)

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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