The text below is a summary of the ten points argued in the Dutch video ‘Why Schiphol must and can shrink‘. If you want to watch the video in your language, click on the subtitles. You can then choose your own language via the settings.

The video was made by residents and is used to convince politicians and policymakers that shrinking the hub airport will only bring benefits, also economically.

Please pick out the arguments that you can use at your airport, in your country!

In order to realize a contraction in aviation, the emphasis must be on integrated policy to tackle all problems simultaneously. As soon as you focus on a component, the discussion focuses on it and the sum of negative influences is lost sight of.

Which factors do you take into account?

  1. Why are so many citizens asking for shrinkage?
  • Airports lead to negative effects on quality of life, health, climate, nature, restrictions on housing.
  • Aviation growth amplifies these effects.


  1. Aviation has a separate status in legislation and regulations
  • The separate status leads to social resistance: advantages for the aviation sector automatically lead to disadvantages for other sectors (fewer privileges, support funds, exception rules, legal protection, etc.)
  • A highway on the ground has legal protection for citizens, a highway above your head has little or no legal protection.


  1. Will aviation shrinkage lead to job losses?
  • In many countries there are personnel shortages in technical professions, education and healthcare.


  1. Can the economy cope with contraction?
  • The growth of an airport in an economically developed region is not a necessary condition for the further strengthening of the economy, but it does have a strong influence on the exacerbation of the negative effects, according to research.


  1. Will the country or region remain easily accessible?
  • This depends on who you want to reach or be reached by: the network quality. This will differ per airport and needs to be sorted out. Growth in the number of destinations or passengers should not be an end in itself, but should be weighed against the negative effects.


  1. Can people still go on holiday?
  • The following applies to the Netherlands: 8% of the population makes 40% of the flights.
  • About 71% fly once a year, or not at all.
  • There are also good alternatives such as a city trip by train or bus instead of by plane.
  • Find out if people in your country can still go on holiday.


  1. Don’t EU/ICAO rules stop shrinkage?
  • The Balanced Approach (BA) takes time, but makes shrinkage possible.
  • Policy intentions for shrinkage must be based on a clear vision. Where there is a political will, there is a way.


  1. Aircraft emissions are not that bad, are they?
  • The following figures must be checked per country.
  • Substances of Very High Concern and exceedance of limit values in the Netherlands
    • Formaldehyde (2200x)
    • (Isopropyl) Benzene 1-2 Methylnaphthalene (700-1600 x)
    • Crotonaldehyde (3000x)
  • CO2 emissions: 1 million tons/aircraft during its lifetime.
  • Ultrafine particles, NOx, toxic compounds such as PFAS.
  • The Netherlands only includes emissions below 900 meters and within 25 kilometers.
  • The greenhouse gases released when burning kerosene make KLM the country’s largest emitter.


  1. Aren’t we going to fly quieter and cleaner?
  • Although aircraft are continuously improving, no technical improvements are foreseen that can solve the climate problem in time.
  • Electric aircraft are also not silent.
  • The problem with noise nuisance is mainly the amount of flight movements and the lack of rest periods.
  • Sustainable flying does not exist.


  1. A lot is already being done, isn’t it?
  • Refute the bullshit arguments in the media in your own country: nothing substantial is happening anywhere. They are diversionary tactics to further delay time-wasting discussions.
  • All facts are known!