Environmental & noise measures, including a higher air passenger tax, are much better for the broad welfare than shrinking Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. Both options reduce emissions and noise, but the effects on emissions are larger in the environment & noise variant. These positive effects outweigh the direct costs for Dutch air passengers, airlines and Royal Schiphol Group.

In the environment & noise variant, the ticket tax increases and becomes dependent on flight distance. There will also be fewer night flights and subsidies for clean fuels. This greatly reduces Schiphol’s environmental impact and noise pollution. The total number of flights may continue to rise, but the number of long-haul flights falls.

The study
The central government wants Schiphol to shrink from 500,000 to 440,000 flights per year. SEO, CE Delft and Significance conducted a social cost-benefit analysis of this plan with help from NLR, at the request of Royal Schiphol Group, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Schiphol and Barin Board of Airline Representatives in the Netherlands. The study also assessed whether other policy choices would yield more (net) benefits.

Methodology used
In a social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA), effects of policy measures for the Netherlands are calculated and then expressed in monetary terms (costs and benefits). The effects for aviation were estimated with a scientifically tested model.

The study includes all effects for the Netherlands, such as passengers diverting to airports abroad, effects on airlines, environmental effects, noise nuisance and the business climate. The study was carried out independently, based on SCBA guidelines set by the government.