The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) measures ultra fine particles (UFP) around Schiphol Airport. UFP are very small particles of fine dust (smaller than 0.1 micrometer). UFP is expressed as the number of particles per cubic centimeter (cm3). Sources of UFP include road traffic, shipping, aviation, industry and wood burning. Levels: in the city with low traffic approx. 10,000 / cm3; with a lot of traffic or close to another source to above 100,000 / cm3. There is no legal standard for UFP. No health-related meaning can now be derived from the UFP levels.

You can see the live measurements on the website of The website is in Dutch, but you can switch to English and the graphics easily indicate when a runway is used. For the moment there are four measurement points.

Some explanation about the locations

The measurement point ‘Amsterdam-Ookmeer’ is related to starts from the Zwanenburg runway in north-eastern direction, and when in use you can distinguish the five rush hours because it’s a non-preferential runway. Measurements take place four kilometers north-east of the runway where most flights to the east and the south pass by (at northern winds).

‘Badhoevedorp-Sloterweg’ is related to starts and landings on the same runway, about one kilometer east of the northern end of the runway (mostly used from the north and to the north).

‘Oude Meer-Aalsmeerderdijk’ is related to the non-preferential Aalsmeer runway, which is often used as second runway for starts because of the very common south-western winds. The point is 100 meter from the south end of the runway (used only to and from the south), so also landings in northern direction are measured.

‘Spaarnwoude-Machineweg’ is about 7 kilometers north before landing on the Zwanenburg runway. Starts won’t go over this measurement point.

An overview of the runways you can find here.

Relation runway use and UFP emissions

There is much more to say about the use of the runways, but this page merely wants to show that planes have effect on the number of UFP. You can figure out what flight movements have been made (live and play-back) on this flight tracker website.

At the moment there is a research going on about the effects of UFP on health, but for now, please draw your own conclusions.