SUBMITTED – The final report on growth plans for Rotterdam Airport is expected today. The Project Office for Participation recently presented a status on the way to the final report. The two resident representatives in the consultation, Thea van de Coevering-van Heesewijck on behalf of Lansingerland and John Witjes for Schiedam, responded to this.
Last stage of the participation process – documentation and closure
The final stage of the LGB participation process for the RTHA has arrived. The participants are therefore busy completing and documenting the results of two years of intensive collaboration. In recent weeks, participants have therefore been working hard on a final product for the participation process in the Airport Decree (LHB) for Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA). It looks different than expected. The parties have concluded that there will not be a preferred scenario based on consensus, but that the process ends with a final product in which the various proposals and measures are brought together.
Realization of the final product
In December 2020, participants started a participatory process to arrive at a preferred scenario, a package of agreements on a new airport decision (LGB). The purpose of the participation process was to provide a clear overview of interests around the airport and to arrive at a preferred scenario based on this clear description, which could count on the support of all participants. In light of this ambition, a first intermediate product – the Provisional Product Participation Program (VPP) – was presented by the participants to the various constituents in April 2022. See here for more information.
Processing the comments of our own supporters into a definite preferred scenario turned out to be an impossible task. The tasks for the various participants turned out to be incompatible with each other on a number of points. It was therefore jointly concluded that a preferred scenario based on consensus was no longer feasible and would therefore no longer be pursued.
Across the group, however, a desire to continue the process was expressed because something had actually been achieved. The participants then jointly decided to complete the process by thoroughly documenting what they agreed on, but also by recording where opinions differed. Beacons were moved from a preferred scenario to an end product participation process. RTHA will then use this final product for the application for an Airport Decree. As no agreement would be reached, it was also noted by the participants that there would be no legally binding outcome: the final product would not contain any hard agreements and would require associated security. The participants agreed that it will be up to the initiator RTHA to take the remaining decisions, taking into account the various interests.
In this animation, the distinction between the participation process and the legal process is explained in text and image.
Completion of the participation process
The final stage of the participation process will be used to carefully complete the process together. For this purpose, the calculations and analyzes are carried out by an external party and – where desired by means of a reflection or annotation – it is possible to document how the parties view the final product. Finally, the whole will be provided with an actual process report, based on the process supervision.
The participation process is expected to be completed jointly in the second half of November. This means, first of all, the publication of the final result, including the various documents that come with it. The final result is then handed over to the initiator, RTHA. In addition, the various consultation structures will be dissolved, and the process inspectorate will carry out its task precisely. The website will continue to be used as a source of information/reference work about the completed process, but will no longer have a contact function.
In accordance with planning, this concludes the participation process and the legal process to apply for an airport decree begins. As the initiator, RTHA itself is responsible for the communication in that process and can invite parties to contribute to this. Read more about the schedule here.
After completion of the participation process in November and publication of the final result, the various documents will also be made available on the website. More information on this will follow.
Reaction of resident representatives from Schiedam and Lansingerland
Over the past two years, we as resident representatives have participated constructively but critically in the consultations on the future of Rotterdam The Hague Airport (RTHA). Our goal was to arrive at a future model for RTHA where a good living environment can be achieved for local residents based on the ‘right to rest’ with less perceived inconvenience. However, the interests of the various participants turned out to be too far apart to arrive at a common scenario.
Although there have been some good suggestions during the process, there is no coherent set of measures that fulfills our starting point. Although it became clear to us since the consultation with our supporters in May that the different interests were incompatible, we continued to stand up for our goals.
For us, the core of the discussion revolves around Mrs. Rintel (CEO KLM) presented in Algemeen Dagblad as the total solution, noise reduction through quieter aircraft. As resident representatives, we do not see the use of low-noise aircraft as a solution for less nuisance, but as a cause of more nuisance. A ‘quiet’ aircraft is not audibly quieter, but ‘quieter’ leads to more flying. And more flying is, as in the interview with Mrs. Rintel appears, which must be connected with the deployment of quieter aircraft. We reject this direct connection. In the interview with Mrs. Rintel noted to the journalist that “technology (always put forward by the sector as a solution) has never proved sufficient”.
As resident representatives for Schiedam and Lansingerland, we want to see the following elements reflected in a new LGB for RTHA:
* A full night’s sleep for local residents through a full night closure of eight consecutive hours.
* An extension/accident scheme corresponding to the one agreed at Lelystad Airport.
* A reduction in the number of heavy commercial flights between 07.00 and 09.00 and at 09.00 to 23.00.
* No obstacles for emergency social traffic (trauma) and always priority for this over holiday flights.
Thea van de Coevering-van Heesewijck and John Witjes