April 14, 2024

Private jets and night flights are prohibited at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

4 min read
25.5 million passengers arrive at or change planes at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport every year. This makes it the second-largest airport in the EU. Private jets and night flights are now to be banned there from the end of 2025. This will lead to “quieter, cleaner and better air traffic,” according to the airport.In addition, larger and thus noisier aircraft such as the Boeing 747 will no longer be allowed to land. Residents and climate protection activists welcome Schiphol’s move to improve the quality of life in the Amsterdam suburb. The effects of this decision will now be felt throughout Europe. Because other cities could push for similar measures in the future.In numerical terms, this would result in approximately 10,000 aircraft being eliminated annually from landing at Schiphol Airport due to flight cancellations caused by the ban. The government has recently introduced guidelines for the airport to decrease the number of flights from 500,000 to 440,000 flights, which means an extra 40,000 flights will be cut starting in November 2023.Ruud Sondag, CEO of Royal Schiphol Group, emphasizes the need to shift our focus from growth alone to considering the expenses it entails. He stresses the importance of sustainability for our employees, the...
Private jets and night flights are prohibited at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

25.5 million passengers arrive at or change planes at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport every year. This makes it the second-largest airport in the EU. Private jets and night flights are now to be banned there from the end of 2025. This will lead to “quieter, cleaner and better air traffic,” according to the airport.

In addition, larger and thus noisier aircraft such as the Boeing 747 will no longer be allowed to land. Residents and climate protection activists welcome Schiphol’s move to improve the quality of life in the Amsterdam suburb. The effects of this decision will now be felt throughout Europe. Because other cities could push for similar measures in the future.

In numerical terms, this would result in approximately 10,000 aircraft being eliminated annually from landing at Schiphol Airport due to flight cancellations caused by the ban. The government has recently introduced guidelines for the airport to decrease the number of flights from 500,000 to 440,000 flights, which means an extra 40,000 flights will be cut starting in November 2023.

Ruud Sondag, CEO of Royal Schiphol Group, emphasizes the need to shift our focus from growth alone to considering the expenses it entails. He stresses the importance of sustainability for our employees, the environment, and the world.

[embedded content]

Airlines are concerned about potential decrease in profits due to legal action against the guidelines.

The changes have been a source of complaints from travel agencies and airlines. KLM, the Dutch airline with Schiphol as its main airport, expressed surprise and stated their desire for coordinated action within the entire air travel industry. However, the absence of concrete plans from major airlines may explain why Schiphol decided not to wait.

The shrinking of flight numbers at Schiphol was followed by a lawsuit by KLM and four other airlines in fear of having reduced profits. Early April 2023, a Dutch court now overruled the directive due to an issue regarding formalities in the law-making process. 

Climate activists are disappointed about the court’s ruling, setting back the efforts of CO2 reduction in the Netherlands drastically. Their hopes now lie with the airport’s lone push to at least save a fourth of the CO2 intended by the government.

Germany is considering a potential ban on private jets due to their negative impact on the environment.

Sussane Menge, an expert in German air travel, considers private jets to be a significant environmental inequality and urges German airports to adopt measures like those implemented at Schiphol to address the increasing levels of CO2 emissions.

German air travel expert Susanne Menge states that it is no longer believable that numerous individuals are currently addressing global warming through house insulation and heating system replacements, while a small group continues to emit jet fuel without any regard for the future.

The German Greens have recently stated their intention to propose a comparable measure, potentially with backing from the opposition party “die Linke” (the Left). However, the fate of this proposed law remains uncertain.

Most wealth – Most emissions

The calculations are accurate, given that in 2019, before the Private jet boom began, private jets were responsible for emitting 899,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). In contrast, the average global per capita CO2 emissions in that year were approximately 4.78 tons annually.

The quantity of CO2 emitted by an average person would require over 627,000 years to match the carbon emissions of a billionaire in a single year.(Foto: Nate / Unsplash)

It becomes even more perplexing when one takes into account that approximately 899 thousand tons of carbon dioxide are emitted by around 22 thousand jets. This means that these roughly 22,000 owners of private aircraft emit the same amount as about 188,000 individuals. Moreover, if we consider their other luxuries, these figures can escalate to an astonishing 3 million tons per year for the wealthiest 1 percent.

The amount of time it would take for an individual with average carbon emissions to produce the same amount of CO2 as a billionaire does in a year is over 627,000 years. Given the decreasing CO2 budget, increasing temperatures, and growing wealth inequality, it may become necessary to implement bans like this across Europe in the future.