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Air pollution and nuisance in the area of Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands

The Schiphol Airport activities create ultra-fine particles and noise pollution that reduce the life expectancy of those in the area surrounding the airport and a huge distress for everyone capable of hearing the noise.


Overall, the air quality in the Netherlands is ranked good to moderate according to The data is collected from the World Air Quality Index whose mission is to create more awareness surrounding worldwide air quality. The statistics are updated frequently therefore it is possible that there may be small deviations from the data presented in this text to the current air quality levels. But every day there is a timelapse where the air is unhealthy. When looking at the data presented from mid-January it is evident that the air quality levels in Hoofddorp, Haarlemmermeer are far worse than that in the rest of the Netherlands. Hoofddorp is located in the north of Holland approximately 8.5km from Schipol airport.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Air pollution and nuisance in the area of Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands
State or province:North Holland
Location of conflict:Amsterdam metropolitan area
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Specific commodities:Transport Services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

From the financial reports of the Schiphol Airport, we see CO₂ emissions for 2020 of 87,229 in 2020 (in tonnes), decreasing from past years following their goal towards zero emissions in 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Project area:24.736 ha
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectFor 2020, Shiphol invested €787.000.000 in the airport such as upgrading and developing new piers and new acquisions of land (from the Annual Report 2020).
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population: Amsterdam population, an approximation of 821.752.
Start of the conflict:14/12/2019
Company names or state enterprises:Royal Schiphol Groups from Netherlands - Company polluter
Relevant government actors:- State of the Netherlands
- Government of Amsterdam
- Groupe ADP (Former Aéroports de Paris)
- Government of Rotterdam
International and Finance InstitutionsNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) from Netherlands - Solving the issue of pollution.
ACI Europe’s Air Quality Working Group - Solving the issue of pollution.
National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) from Netherlands - Solving the issue of pollution.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Greenpeace
- The Extinction Rebellion.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Land occupation
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Global warming, Noise pollution
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts
Potential: Deaths, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsLong exposure to ultra-fine particles has health impacts reducing life expectancy.
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:New legislation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
Proposal and development of alternatives:All EJOs (Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion) call for a reduced emission of pollution and legislation to reduce the activity of the airport and its growth.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The issue is not solved, thus cannot be a success of environmental justice. But is worth mentioning that there is progress in reducing pollution by the airport and bilateral communication with international agencies to reduce pollution, and this is thanks to the environmental agents.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] AQICN, table for air quality.
[click to view]

[2] Mileudefensie, 2014.
[click to view]

[3] Parool, Herman Still, 2021
[click to view]

[4] Volkstrant, Dion Mebius, 2020
[click to view]

[5] Forbes, Davide Banis, 2019
[click to view]

[6] Reuters, 2019
[click to view]

[7] The Guardian, Georgina Hayes, 2019
[click to view]

[8] NL Times, 2021
[click to view]

[9] Dutch News, 2021
[click to view]

[10] Schiphol Airport Webpage
[click to view]

[11] Schiphol Airport Annual Report for 2020
[click to view]

Other comments:"Tax the plane, take the train"
Meta information
Contributor:Agnieszkra Helena Dulas, Floor Severijn, Holly Sarah Kirwan, Ikram Taki Page Lena, Rubén Villalba Moya.
Last update21/04/2022
Conflict ID:5808
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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