The end of growth and the emphasis on going green: how coronavirus may change the future of Schiphol

In the coming years, growth of the Schiphol airport will be limited, partly due to the coronavirus crisis, but the aim is also to make it more environmentally friendly and to focus on pre-existing issues.  

Originally, the aim was to increase the amount of flights to 540,000 (woah!) in the coming year, but it is likely that the numbers will remain at their current quantities, 500,000.

The cabinet will confirm this decision on Friday, according to NOS. But nonetheless, now is the time to improve existing problems such as noise and sustainability— and this is what the cabinet aims to do.

Less flights

Before coronavirus hit the world, Schiphol airport was approaching half a million flights annually. But coronavirus has meant that people are increasingly reluctant to fly.

With 90% of the aviation industry worldwide currently unemployed, we may not return to regular flying amounts till 2030, NOS states.

The cabinet would like to return to 500,000 flights per year over the coming years, and once the corona crisis resolves itself, possibly more (but note that flying is pretty bad for the environment, so if it’s unnecessary for the coming time, why do it?).

Good for KLM

The Netherlands is KLM’s home base, so to speak. So if Schiphol recovers from the coronavirus crisis and begins to grow, and if KLM recovers too, then any excess space made by the airport could be taken up by them instead of foreign airlines.

All about the environment

It is possible for Schiphol to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the environment. This can firstly be done by encouraging people to use air travel only when necessary. For instance, flights don’t actually need to fly between Schiphol and Brussels, to Berlin, or even to London, now that the EuroStar between Amsterdam and London and Rotterdam and London exists.

These are fairly short flights, and utilise the same take-off emissions as flights to Asia and the US. Talk about waste. Instead, the use of trains could be prioritised instead of air travel.

Additionally, at one point there were ideas of moving the airport to the North Sea in order to create more space. Given the current situation, that idea’s definitely been tabled.

Likely for the best, since that area is absolutely necessary to create a large wind farm.  The wind farm would enable the transport of electricity to other North Sea neighbours such as the UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Norway.

A glimpse into Utopia

The coronavirus has shown us how different the world could be if we pay a little more attention to our everyday energy consumptions. In Delhi, for instance, the air, less heavy with pollution, now replicates air from the 1980’s. Elsewhere similar trends follow.

Coronavirus has shown us a world in which people do not interfere with the environment. And it’s a good one. Here’s hoping that once life returns to what it was pre-corona, our planet continues to flourish the way it has during corona.

Are you planning on flying anytime soon? Let us know in the comments.

Feature Image: Abuzer van Leeuwen/Supplied

Vedika Luthra
Vedika was born in India, raised in Poland and moved to the Netherlands to study. Like her nationality, she’s confused about what she likes most, which is why her bachelor’s degree was in liberal arts and sciences. She enjoys writing about all things food-related but likes to mix it up every now and then.


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