Lelystad Airport has not yet received a nature permit to serve as a fall-back airport for Schiphol. The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality rejected an application because the calculations on nitrogen emissions were incorrect.
Sources confirm that One today† Action group SATL, which is against the opening of Lelystad Airport, already claimed at the end of 2019 that the nitrogen calculations of the airport were incorrect.
The airport had calculated that the temperature of the emissions from aircraft was much too high. As a result, the exhaust gases rise, mix and precipitate over a much larger surface. The result: the amount of nitrogen that ends up in nature is smaller on paper. Favorable for Lelystad Airport, because the calculated nitrogen precipitation was so low that no permit had to be applied for, but only a report had to be made.
The new cabinet postponed the decision on Lelystad Airport at the end of last year. Rutte IV will not make a final decision on the opening of the holiday airport in Flevoland until 2022. This was apparent from the coalition agreement that was handed over to Chamber President Vera Bergkamp in mid-December.
‘There are various challenges around the airport in the field of nitrogen, (ultra) particulate matter, noise pollution, quality of the living environment, safety and housing’, the coalition agreement states. ‘This requires an integrated solution that offers certainty and perspective for both Schiphol’s hub function and the airport environment. The cabinet will make a decision on this in 2022, including the opening of Lelystad airport and also taking into account the low-level flight routes.’
Proponents argue that the holiday airport will lead to many extra jobs. Royal Schiphol Group, owner of Lelystad Airport, hopes that the cabinet will quickly decide on the opening. “In principle, Lelystad Airport is ready,” spokesman Hans van Kastel told this site at the beginning of last month. ,,Once the decision is made about opening, there are still a few things to arrange. For example, think of shops and restaurants.”
Van Kastel said about the 32 million euros that still need to be invested in the future: ,,These are dated figures from 2014. We are not sharing any new figures at the moment. As soon as the opening becomes clear, we will assess the market conditions and a tender will follow.”
In recent years, more than 200 million euros have been invested in Lelystad Airport. A new terminal was built, a large parking lot, the runway was extended and the control tower was raised. A turnkey airport, ready to take off as a holiday airport, as Alderman Elzakalai believes. “So much money has already been invested, politicians usually think it’s a shame to let it go. I think that is why Lelystad Airport will open,” said economic geographer Felix Pot of the University of Groningen (RUG).
There are major problems when granting a nature permit for Schiphol. According to insiders, major sacrifices are needed to comply with the rules for the current situation, with a maximum of 500,000 flights per year: either the number of flights must be drastically reduced, or the number of farmers in the area.
With the growth of Schiphol and the opening of Lelystad Airport, the cabinet thought it would be years without such a nature permit, which maps out how the activities of the airport contribute to the emission of harmful substances, including nitrogen. Action groups fighting against Lelystad, however, drew a line.
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