A growth in the number of flights at Schiphol Airport does not benefit prosperity. A shrinkage does not necessarily have to turn out well, but prosperity can increase. Independent research and consultancy firm CE Delft came to this conclusion in a social cost-benefit analysis that it carried out on behalf of the municipality of Aalsmeer, a village at the and of one of the runways.

According to the analysis, growth in aviation always costs money: annually between 2.3 and 3.1 billion euros. CE Delft looked at more than just the development of the economy, but also at issues such as noise pollution, environmental pollution and health costs. Measures to reduce CO2 emissions and additional costs for health complaints for local residents in particular cost a lot of money.

A total of five scenarios were examined, in which prosperity fell in four cases. Only a reduction in the number of flights to the Netherlands can have a positive effect. CE Delft assumes that international aviation will grow rapidly and that measures will be taken to limit CO2 emissions.

This welfare gain is achieved, among other things, by reducing noise and air pollution. Reducing noise pollution alone yields a profit of 2 billion euros. Moreover, it is mainly transfer passengers who disappear, so that accessibility for the Dutch remains at the same level.

Schiphol says that the results of this cost-benefit analysis do not correspond with those of previous studies commissioned by the national government. The airport believes that CE Delft has not considered ‘the positive contribution to availability and the business climate’ heavily enough. The research bureau is also said to be too negative about the consequences of initiatives to reduce noise pollution and CO2 emissions.

But the research confirms what residents groups in Amsterdam had already figured out earlier: a large airport only creates demand and provides no added value for economic growth.

Based on an article on the Dutch news site nu.nl.

Link to the Dutch report (pdf)