Dutch airport growth plan under attack

Report brands Schiphol expansion plans "incompatible" with environment

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport has received fresh criticism over the environmental effects of a fifth runway planned to operate from 2003. In a report for the Dutch transport ministry released last week, the independent Commission for Environmental Impact Assessment (CEIA) argues that the proposed expansion would increase aircraft emissions and weaken safety controls.

The CEIA report points out that a 1995 strategic environmental assessment on Schiphol by the environment and transport ministries allowed for a maximum of 432,000 flights annually by 2015 with noise and air pollution at 1990 levels. Yet by 2002, the number of flights is estimated to reach 460,000, according to Jules Schoulten, one of the report's authors.

Schiphol has expressed "disappointment" at the report, which responds to the airport's own environmental impact assessment of the new runway plan. "The CEIA is using 1995 models for noise and third-party safety, even though the government is developing new models to be used in 2003," a spokesperson told ENDS Daily.

Follow Up:
Dutch Commission for Environmental Impact Assessment, tel: +31 30 234 7602 and report; Schiphol airport, tel: +31 20 601 2000.

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