Rotterdam The Hague Airport does not annoy everyone, but is it a reason to increase the nuisance and pollution, wonders Vogelbuurt
SCHIEDAM – The municipal council in Schiedam must show where it stands on the problems surrounding Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA). “It is time for the municipality of Schiedam to take its residents in Kethel, de Woudhoek, Sveaparken, De Akkers, De Velden and Groenoord seriously,” say Gwenny Fuhler and Paul van Mansum on behalf of the board of the residents’ association Vogelbuurt-Kethel.
“The increased inconvenience caused by the air traffic is unacceptable to us as residents living in the immediate vicinity and we are therefore urgently appealing for your advice to take action,” they said in a letter to the city council. “In our opinion, it is not sufficient to submit this letter to the B & W board for settlement without discussion.”
Vogelbuurt is not the only one to complain about the airport to the municipal authorities in Schiedam. Several letters have recently been written, namely by the residents’ association Hargplein-Kethel, former civil servant Frans Griffioen, former councilor Chris Zijdeveld, an anonymous Schiedammer and the Beboergruppen Against Aircraft Nuisance (BTV).
De Vogelbuurt uses his own well-considered argument after a general introduction. “There is chaos at the various airports, in the Netherlands and outside. The chaos at Schiphol has led to RTHA taking over a large number of flights, which has also increased the chaos at this airport as well as the nuisance from this airport.”
Vogelbuurt reminds us that RTHA is intended as a small airport for business flights only. But it has become a busy holiday airport. Although opening hours apply to wholesale traffic (including holiday flights) from 07.00 to 23.00, these times are currently greatly exceeded. Almost every day, one to five planes land after 11 a.m., while morning flights have increased, with more than seven flights currently departing between 6.55 and 7.25. All this ensures that the night’s sleep of local residents is seriously disturbed.”
“In addition, it is clear that the increased air traffic also leads to more deposition of particles and other environmental pollution – while RTHA currently does not even have a nature permit! ”
A recent report from GGD showed that especially the residents of Schiedam(-North) and Lansingerland experience a lot of inconvenience from air traffic around RTHA. No less than 31 percent of respondents in Kethel state that they experience serious inconvenience from air traffic. For all of Schiedam, 7.3 percent of all respondents state that they experience serious inconvenience from air traffic, with serious sleep disturbances reported by just under 5 percent. of all respondents.
Vogelbuurt therefore finds it difficult to digest that while the municipalities of Lansingerland, Rotterdam and Zuidplas are increasingly critical of the RTHA, the municipality of Schiedam seems to be patient. “Skiedam municipality’s inertia is also illogical, because Schiedam municipality itself does not benefit from RTHA’s air traffic. In addition to the fact that the airport (apart from its parking) is not profitable at all, the traffic consists mainly of holidaymakers who spend their money elsewhere – the municipality of Schiedam and its residents therefore do not benefit from this.”
Notable passage in Vogelbuurt’s riff: “The oft-used argument that there are also people in Schiedam who think it’s fine that RTHA is growing is not valid – after all, it cannot be the case that people who experience no inconvenience from the airport increase the inconvenience for a large part of Schiedam’s citizens? It is also possible to carry out holiday flights without giving rise to inconvenience, by sparing the days and keeping the opening hours better – advice which is also given by GGD Rotterdam.”
“It is clear that the presence of RTHA causes a lot of discomfort, at the moment even more than usual. Nevertheless, people often react with derision when people complain about this. Frequent complainers are dismissed as whiners (why are their complaints legitimate after all?) and if people complain less often the argument is: ‘Look, there are almost no complaints’. For the sake of simplicity, it is forgotten that not everyone who experiences inconvenience actually knows how to find the online platforms to lodge their complaint. In addition, since little seems to be done about these complaints, it is possible that people are discouraged from complaining.”