The Dilemma of Noise Pollution: Commentary on Alders Roundtable

In the Netherlands, the parties that determine the future of the national hub Schiphol Airport have been wrestling for decades with the dilemma that growth means more noise pollution, at least in the short term. In a new effort to reconcile the irreconcilable, the Dutch Cabinet asked former minister Hans Alders to devise a plan for making future controlled growth of the airport possible, and to do this in co-operation with interested parties such as the airport and inhabitants of the surrounding municipalities. Last October, this ‘Alders-table’ delivered its report. Highlights are that Schiphol should be allowed to grow to 510.000 aircraft movements in 2020 (430.000 in 2007) and that the present legally set noise control instruments be replaced by a constellation of agreements between the airports and the people living around it.

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