Today provisional relief judge of the district court of The Hague held that the State of the Netherlands is not allowed to reduce the number of aircraft movements below 500,000. Local residents are disappointed. As a result of this judgment, they will have to suffer from serious noise pollution and sleep disturbance even longer.
Local residents left in the lurch
For years now, the capacity at Schiphol Airport has greatly exceeded what is legally permitted. Based on current law, there is no space for 500,000 aircraft movements. All parties and the court agree on this. Additionally, Schiphol still does not have a nature permit and the permit for which it applied was merely for 440,000 aircraft movements.
The State's plans to reduce the capacity were supposed to bring the factual situation more in line with the law. Even so, the judge has now prohibited the State from even taking a step in the right direction. Moreover, the judge prohibited the State from acting on the basis of applicable law. This means that the State is not allowed to intervene if the noise levels at designated points exceeds that which is legally permissible. Following years of the State and Schiphol neglecting their interests, the Judge has now left them out in the cold as well. If even judges fail to take the law as a point of departure, local residents are left empty-handed.
Consequently, the airline companies were able to succesfully derive claims from an illegal situation. According to local residents, this is the world upside down. The same goes for the conclusion in the verdict, that a European procedure should be followed before an illegal situation can be stopped. The judge even challenges the State to adjust its calculations so that more aircraft movements would be possible under the law. This gives a whole new dimension to the term "Schiphollen", which is used to describe distorting of facts to allow further growth in relation to the airport.
July 4 proceedings on the merits RBV v. State
Stichting Recht op Bescherming tegen Vliegtuighinder ('RBV') stood up for the interests of local residents in these summary proceedings. To this end, RBV joined the proceedings on the side of the State. On July 4, RBV will face the State in seperate proceeedings in which it demands that the State complies with the noise standards set by the World Health Organization and drastically reduces air traffic. The verdict of the preliminary relief judge has no effect on those proceedings as it concerns a interlocutory judgment and a different question of law.
RBV is represented in this case by lawyers Channa Samkalden and Elles ten Vergert.
Previously (on RBV's seperate proceedings against the State)