Hundreds of climate change activists descended on the main airport in Amsterdam this week to protest the environmental damage caused by flying private jets, with some staging an impromptu demonstration that resulted in dozens of arrests. In total, 125 protesters were arrested and detained by police at Schiphol Airport on Monday, according to broadcaster NOS, which described the event as the biggest demonstration against air travel to have ever been staged there.
As part of a day of protests at and around Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, hundreds of climate activists descended on a private jet area on Saturday.
By occupying the space in front of the wheels of many aeroplanes, the protesters prevented them from taking off. As of early afternoon, commercial flights were not affected by delays. The protests were planned by the environmental organisations Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion to express opposition to the aviation industry’s pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and local noise pollution.
According to a Reuters story, protesters also demonstrated in the airport’s main hall while holding posters that read “Restrict Aviation” and “More Trains.” In a statement, military police claimed to have captured a number of “persons who were on airport premises without being authorised.”
“We’ve been fighting to stop the extensive pollution coming from Schiphol for years, and for good cause. Instead of lowering the number of flights it handles, the airport is creating a brand-new terminal. Private jets are the most polluting form of air travel, and the rich elite are using them more frequently than ever, according to a statement from Dewi Zloch of Greenpeace Netherlands.
According to Greenpeace, Schiphol produces more than 12 billion kilos of carbon dioxide yearly, making it the greatest producer of emissions in the Netherlands. In response to the climate protests, the airport said that it would work toward being carbon-free by 2030 and that it supported industry-wide goals for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
In a statement, Schiphol CEO Ruud Sondag said that he has been dedicated to a sustainable Netherlands for 25 years and that he understands the urgency of the activists.
“The aviation industry must make every effort to reduce noise and improve air quality. That’s how I see it. According to a translation of the announcement, he remarked, “The work is enormous, but doable. Sondag stated that in the upcoming days, he wants to speak with Greenpeace, workers, trade unions, and other parties.
And for Saturday, he said, “be kind but maintain cleanliness.”
According to reports, the Dutch government is debating whether or not to include private aircraft traffic in its climate strategy. In June, the government established a 440,000-person annual passenger cap at the airport, citing worries about air pollution and the environment.