New Schiphol runway leads to noise pollution
21 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Residents around Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport have complained of increased noise pollution since last year’s opening of the fifth runway, despite the fact its construction was designed to reduce suburban disturbances.
The Transport Ministry-commissioned research surveyed 5,000 residents in February last year — before the new runway was partially operational from 21 February 2003 — and again at the end of last December.
The surveys — conducted by research bureau Intomart — indicated that due to the use of the fifth runway, 48 percent of residents now have problems with noise pollution during the day, compared with 40 percent in February 2003.
The increase in noise pollution was concentrated in the areas that were expected to have the greatest problems, news agency ANP reported.
But the expectation that in certain suburban areas the noise pollution problems would decline did not occur, the survey found. Instead, noise pollution remained the same or even increased slightly.
During the night, a total of 19 percent of residents have noise pollution problems compared with 14 percent before the airport’s Polderbaan runway was operational. The runway has been fully operational since July 2003.
The centre of Amsterdam was expected to benefit from reduced noise pollution through the use of the western, secluded runway, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
In Aalsmeer — where more noise pollution was expected — the use of the new runway led to reduced disturbances.
But despite the noise pollution problems, about three quarters of surrounding Schiphol residents remain positive about the airport. This figure unchanged from prior to and after the use of the new runway, news agency Novum said.
About half of those surveyed would not object to further expansion of the runway, but a majority of residents also believe that the government places the economic importance of Schiphol above efforts to reduce noise pollution.
Meanwhile, the Transport Ministry said it intends to conduct the noise pollution survey on an annual basis in future. The research will be used to further evaluate legislation governing the use of the Amsterdam airport.
Noise pollution around Schiphol Airport has been of growing concern for some time. The dispute intensified after a calculation error was confirmed last year, meaning that full use of the new runway would cause a greater amount of disturbance than expected.
The opposition party Labour PvdA claimed in mid-2003 that regulations allowing Schiphol’s expansion had descended into fiasco and local residents had not been adequately protected against noise pollution in recent years.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news + Schiphol Airport