Private jet traffic was disrupted this Saturday, November 5, 2022, at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Several hundred Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion activists stormed the tarmac of an area of the airport dedicated to private jets, sitting near the planes’ wheels to prevent them from taking off.
Other activists also cycled around the runway, and others occupied the area around the main terminal hall carrying signs reading “Restrict aviation” and “No more trains“.
In a statement to the press, the military police in charge of security at the airport said they had “carried out a number of arrests of people who were inside the airport without authorization”.
Environmental groups Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion are protesting greenhouse gas emissions caused by the aviation industry.
They claim that Schiphol Airport is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands, emitting 12 billion kilograms per year.
Greenpeace Netherlands denounced, on its website, “that in the midst of the climate crisis, Schiphol continues to pollute enormously without incident, to the detriment of the climate and local residents”. The organization has said it wants fewer flights, fewer trains, and a ban on short-haul flights and private jets.
“Today’s action means that Schiphol airport must reduce its emissions, there must be fewer flights,” Greenpeace Netherlands spokeswoman Faiza Oulahsen told AFP. “We start with flights that we absolutely don’t need, like private jets and short flights.”
For its part, airport management said in response to the protest that it had set itself the goal of zero emissions by 2030 and supported the aviation sector’s ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Schiphol airport had already been the subject of similar action at the end of 2020 when climate activists blocked access.
Environmental activists have stepped up their actions lately, with some demanding that the Dutch government ban all private jets in the country from flying.
In June this year, the Dutch government announced plans to cap annual passenger numbers at the airport at 440,000 to limit air pollution, resulting in an 11% drop in passenger numbers from 2019.