Minister Harbers announced last Friday that Schiphol will shrink by 12%. Not because the government is finally taking Article 21 of the Constitution seriously, but because it is being forced to do so.
This can rightly be called a ‘positive’ earthquake. No government has ever considered slowing industry growth. Before Corona, ‘shrinkage’ was only for left-wing activists. Now, three years later, it’s a fait acpli. I’ve seen the mountain top.
By Henk Visser
The news had already been leaked on June 16, De Telegraaf reported: 50,000 to 80,000 flights to be canceled. In anticipation that RIVM’s health report on the consequences of particulate matter from aircraft for residents, which does not bode well, has made the decision. From November 2023, no more than 440,000 flights may be handled annually on a structural basis. Lelystad Airport will remain closed for at least another two years.
For insiders in aviation matters, the scriptures on the wall had been reading for a while. Due to the growing amount of scientific research that mapped the environment, climate, and economic impacts, Schiphol’s economic significance also proved questionable. This is summarized in the 2016 report: ‘Beyond Mainport’.
But also in the book ‘Schiphol reigns’ from 2020. It seems that things rumbled already in 2017. On 7 September the same year, a roundtable discussion takes place in the Chamber Building with, among others, the airlines involved, Schiphol Environment Council (ORS), MEPs Van Helvert (CDA), Barbara Visser (VVD) and Rob Jetten (D66). And the Belgian Filip Cornelis from the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) in the European Commission and Hans Alders. Key question: “If the policy of selectivity * is not complied with by the parties and / or can be enforced, then the whole of the proposed policy will fall apart. What are the consequences then?” (The selectivity policy should have been an important pillar of the Agreements Agreement. Schiphol could have continued to grow in a selective way so that the benefits and burdens of a large airport would be in balance.)
Living room visits
(3.) The Rutte cabinet began to come under more and more pressure. The ‘mainport’ was allowed to grow, but subject to conditions such as connectivity, safety, sustainability and quality of life for the environment. That sky was no longer the bordersaid then Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (VVD) in 2019.
Especially the quality of life for the environment received a lot of attention. Many rallies were held to counter the growing resistance to growth. The dialogue between the sector and local residents was cast in the classic purple form, where especially the environmental groups indicated that they would not ‘shrink’. Fame is the charm offensive for Dick Benschop, who personally, with the media, went on room visits with local residents (picture below). What everyone already knew was nothing more than an advertising stunt. Benschop is an unreliable man, as it was recently stated in an NRC article about his role in Shell. The Lelystad dilemma was already well on the national news at the time. Millions of wasted money for a Schiphol submarine, born under a bad star. Numerous consultation structures with the participation of concerned residents obscured the overview. Which played into the hands of the airline lobby and pro-flight cabinets. In addition, there are the numerous exceptions to compliance with the so-called tolerance construction for the ‘State within the state’.
Time and time again, utopian prospects such as electric flying and bio-petroleum were presented as colorful Smarties to keep the consumer entertained.
The bomb explodes
Corona and the nitrogen story have blown the adventure in 100 years and one night in the air by a sublime coincidence. The blue Swan clip.
It was already a blasphemy to ignore aviation, shipping and the military complex during the Paris climate negotiations. Primary pollutants.
The tail of the Corona has also once again shown how fragile global hypercapitalism can lead to economic chaos. Reputable economists and scientists have a crystal ball. They predicted all this in good time. The logical market operation of supply and demand, based on a fundamentally balanced balance sheet. And the consequences if it goes wrong.
Thus formulated in an NRC article of 22 June 2021, in which two scientists point out that only minor flight contributes to the climate goals.
For far too long, there have been allusions to innovative solutions that are not technically feasible in the foreseeable future. Like the utopian electric flight.
Melkert and Peeters write in the article that only a reduction to 200,000 flights a year meets the Paris goals.
Only a reduction to 200,000 flights a year meets the Paris targets.
Unlike the previously heavily subsidized bankrupt Dutch pearls, Werkspoor Diesel, NDSM, Fokker and the Limburg mines, Schiphol is now not a victim of a dying economic branch, but through its own lobby in four consecutive VVD cabinets. Especially because Balkenende and Kok also praised the aviation sector above all.
It has been known since the 1950s how harmful combustion of fossil raw materials is for humans and climate. Investigation reports, conducted by Exxon-Mobil, disappeared in the locked drawer. Now, 70 years later, everything is popping up.
Thanks to the awareness of the UN (IPPC), WHO, EU. And thanks to the tireless efforts of many environmental and climate organizations.
Corona initially not only gave aviation a stroke, but subsequently also revealed its own incompetence. Following pressure from the EU, the government must now take action. Not only against farmers, but all polluting economic sectors. The result of 10 years of neglected environmental policy. 10 years bends for LTO and aviation lobbyists. The price is paid now. By you and me. The price of blinders policy.
I’ve seen Bjergtoppen
While the term ‘shrinkage’ was a reactionary word a few years ago, like ‘aviation terror’, it has now become a widely accepted vocabulary. And that can be called evolution in the dialogue about Schiphol. Who could have believed?
The common mantra within aviation resistance, which is more than one and a half million inhabitants, is the biblical comparison of David against Goliath. But with this new development in the conflict with Schiphol comes the memory of Martin Luther King’s last speech. ‘I have a dream’.
” Like everyone else, I want to live a long life. Long life has its place. But I’m not worried about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he has allowed me to go up the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I have seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will come to the Promised Land! “
One day after his historic speech, Martin Luther King, the forerunner of the BLM movement in the United States, was assassinated.
Many aviation activists can now relate to Martin Luther King’s militant and prophetic words: “Like everyone else, I want a long life. Long life has a place. “
The promised land
King fought for civil rights. Like all fellow citizens who are literally tired of particles and noise. Their constitutional rights subordinate to economic interests. As second-class citizens. discriminated against.
Not only the residents around Schiphol, but also their children and grandchildren have the right to ‘life’. They all have the right to a long life, as provided for in the Constitution. But an exception was made for ‘The State within the State’.
All those affected by the morbid aviation terror, all those who fought for industrial waste, they have now seen a glimpse of the promised land.
Scams are now a fait accompli. They were able to look over the top of the mountain for a while. A match is won.