Plan to only allow quieter planes at Schiphol at night only applies to some airlines

The government’s plans to only allow quieter aircraft to land at Schiphol Aiport at night only applies to KLM and its subsidiaries and not any other airlines, De Telegraaf reports. That means that noisy aircraft, particularly from freight carriers, will continue to be welcome at the Amsterdam airport at night.

Using quieter planes at night was a key point in outgoing Infrastructure Minister Mark Harbers’ plans to lower the noise pollution at Schiphol. The airport has been exceeding its noise permits for years. Harbers recently submitted the government’s plans to shrink Schiphol and get noise pollution within limits to the European Commission. The plan includes a list of KLM and Transavia night flights for which the airlines believe quieter aircraft can be used. But it says nothing about other airlines, according to the newspaper.

KLM established the list for it and its subsidiary Transavia. According to KLM, part of the agreement is that the Ministry will approach all airlines with night flights to make a similar deal with them on using the quietest aircraft. But according to De Telegraaf, no such talks are taking place.

ACN, the umbrella organization for freight transport, told the newspaper that six freight companies with noisy aircraft land at Schiphol at night. None of them are in talks with the government about using quieter planes.

The KLM group is responsible for approximately 88 percent of the night flights. It is possible that the government achieved the noise reduction it wanted with the KLM agreement alone.

After KLM and freighters, travel agencies are the main users of night flights at Schiphol Airport. Corendon and TUI both support the plan to only allow quieter aircraft for night flights. TUI already has a fleet of quiet planes, according to the Telegraaf. And Corendon told the newspaper it would like some more night slots to become available to improve its competitive position.

The list of flights KLM is willing to consider quieter aircraft for is part of an alternative proposal to shrinking Schiphol Airport that the Dutch airline submitted to the government. “It is disappointing that the government does not embrace this because it is better for the sector and local residents,” a spokesperson for KLM told De Telegraaf. In addition to quieter planes, the proposal includes “numerous other operational improvements” like a different approach route and different port fees to encourage the use of quieter planes. The spokesperson called it “strange” that the government didn’t include these proposals in its plans to reduce noise at Schiphol.

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