by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies
In an earlier post, I informed readers that Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, one of Europe’s busiest aviation centers, was going to cut back on the number of flights. I was delighted to write the good news coming from this airport. However, the follow-up news from Connecticut-based Middletown Press does not please me, nor will it please residents living with aircraft noise. Earlier this month, the Dutch government announced that it was going to scrap plans to reduce flights. The decision is currently held up in the country’s Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on it early 2024.
Schiphol Airport’s statement in response to the government’s effort to reduce flights was that local residents are “getting the short end of the stick.” I would assume that groups battling aircraft noise issues in the United States would concur with that statement. These plans were to reduce noise pollution for residents near the airport. The many U.S. residents combating aircraft noise will welcome the next statement by Schiphol Airport. “It is time that hindrance for local residents is noticeably reduced.”
Now for the reaction of the Aviation group Airlines for America. They welcomed the decision. No surprise here. Of course, the group added that it plans to focus on “reaching global climate goals, including reducing noise pollution.” Now for the question that must be on the minds of many US anti-aircraft-noise groups—How? Let me add that the Dutch airline KLM also stated that it plans to reduce noise pollution. Again, how?
The response of environmental groups in the Netherlands, namely Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, to the news that flights were not to be cut was stated in one word: “Shocking.” These groups also felt the local residents “are left in the lurch” and climate change is being ignored.