Aviation policy

According to the draft Civil Aviation Policy Memorandum 2020-2050 (in Dutch) airports may only grow if safety can be guaranteed, and nuisance and environmental pollution are reduced. The government hopes to adopt the final version by the end of the year.

Safe, connected and sustainable

Schiphol and other airports contribute to the Netherlands' prosperity. But aviation also has negative effects, like noise nuisance and pollution. These problems must be tackled. The government wants an aviation sector that is safe and sustainable, and that keeps the Netherlands well connected to the world’s major destinations. To this end, the draft Civil Aviation Policy Memorandum 2020-2050 (in Dutch) identifies four public interests:

  • safety, in the air and on the ground
  • good international connections
  • an attractive and healthy environment
  • an aviation sector that contributes to ambitious climate goals.

A framework for the future of the aviation sector

The main elements of the new aviation policy are as follows.

  • The government will commission an independent, comprehensive safety analysis before taking any major decisions about aviation. This could concern, for instance, the number of flights, flight paths and types of aircraft.
  • Airports will set aside more space for air ambulances and police helicopters.
  • Central government will draw up a plan of action aimed at speeding up and expanding passenger rail connections between Dutch airports and London, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Berlin. KLM, Schiphol, NS (Dutch railways) and ProRail (railway infrastructure manager) will also be involved in the Air/Rail action plan.
  • The number of night flights will be restricted.
  • Nitrogen emissions from aviation must be reduced.
  •  By 2030 carbon emissions from aviation must be equal to 2005 levels. By 2050 they must be halved compared to 2005 levels. And by 2070 emissions must be reduced to zero.
  • The government wants the European Union to make biofuel blending mandatory. If this is not possible, the Netherlands wants to introduce a national obligation to use fuel blends with bio kerosene in 2023.
  • Lelystad Airport will open in late 2021.
  • Research will be carried out into how capacity at Schiphol could be increased to 540,000 aircraft movements per year. Growth can only happen if there is a clear reduction in the number of people exposed to serious noise nuisance.
  • The aviation sector will set up a fund aimed at improving liveability around Schiphol.
  • The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) will conduct research into the effects of ultrafine particle emissions from aviation on people’s health.
  • Central government and the municipal health services (GGD's) will monitor the perception of aircraft noise in the wider vicinity of airports.
  • There will be no research into building an airport offshore. 

Read more about the framework for the future of the aviation sector on luchtvaartindetoekomst.nl (in Dutch).