Aviation is a major source of greenhouse gases, accounting for 7% of Dutch CO2 emissions, while having significant non-CO2 climate impacts as well (EEA, 2018). Since 1990 Dutch aviation emissions have more than doubled, though over the same period total carbon emissions declined. Aviation emissions are not only significant but are also rising rapidly. To have any chance of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, as pledged by the Dutch government under the Paris Climate Agreement, an immediate start needs to be made with emissions reduction.
With Schiphol Airport one of Europe’s key hubs, the Dutch aviation sector is comparatively large. Further growth is currently under debate, for three main reasons: Schiphol is up against the agreed limit on the annual number of flights, there is controversy about the opening of Lelystad Airport because of projected aircraft noise, and demand for air travel is rising faster than projected. The third Rutte government has announced a new document outlining its vision on sectoral development 2020-2040 and the flanking policies it wants implemented.
The Dutch Society for Nature and Environment (Natuur & Milieu) asked CE Delft to prepare a concise review of the Dutch aviation sector containing key statistics and projections for the future.