Growing Dutch governmental support for fewer night-time flights
Night-time flights are those between the hours of 11pm and 6am. Last year, around 20.000 were carried out at Schiphol. Such flights disturb the sleep of those living in the surrounding areas and in turn are bad for their health.
More Dutch governmental in favour of reduction
An increasing number of parties in the Dutch House of Representatives are in favour of banning, or massively reducing, the number of night-time flights at Schiphol. Governing parties D66 and the Christian Union are now also in favour of the reduction.
Last year, around 20.000 night-time flights were carried out at Schiphol. The majority of these are cargo and budget airline flights. Should a ban come about on these flights, an airline such as KLM would not be greatly affected, as they do not carry out passenger flights during night-time hours.
Additionally, “Night-time flights are not important for the role Schiphol has as an international layover destination […] This is all the more reason to bring the number of flights back to a realistic level”, according to D66 MP Jan Paternotte. Dutch party SP is also for the gradual phasing out of these flights. GroenLinks and Party for the Animals have been calling for a ban on night-time flights for some time now.
Night-time flights bad for people’s health
The call for a reduction or ban on night-time flights hasn’t come out of nowhere. Recently, the Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli) recommended limiting the number of night-time flights, as these disturb the sleep of residents living close to the airport and in turn can have a negative effect on their health.
Noise pollution doesn’t just cause sleep problems, it can also lead to high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, as the brain registers the sounds and takes them to mean we are in an unsafe environment. “The brain is constantly alert. The body is being prepared for a fight or flight reaction: you get a shot of adrenaline, your blood pressure rises and your heart rate goes up,” says Tjeerd Andringa, a researcher at the University of Groningen.
The Dutch House of Representatives is in talks with the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen about the aviation sector. She is going to look into whether it is possible to reduce the number of night-time flights.