Social Cost-Benefit Analysis of Schiphol growth and contraction. Analysis of growth and contraction for prosperity of the Netherlands and Schiphol region

Social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) is a tool used for integral comparison of alternative project options by expressing their impacts as far as possible in monetary terms and then summing them. This includes impacts to which a monetary value is not generally (or only partly) assigned, like emissions of CO2 and air pollutants. In this study SCBA was used to compare the impact on economic welfare of three alternatives for Schiphol Airport moving forward, looking specifically at the local and regional impacts as these are most relevant for the project principal, Aalsmeer municipality.

We present the net welfare impacts of two policy alternatives for Schiphol: contraction to 375,000 flights and growth to 540,000 flights annually, comparing these with a baseline in which the flight ceiling remains at 500,000. Both alternatives assume the ceiling depends partly on international restrictions on the number of incoming and outgoing flights; they differ in the degree to which this restriction is limiting.

The alternatives were analysed against two backgrounds: the WLO-High and WLO-Low scenarios. In WLO-High, international aviation grows substantially, with international collaboration leading to vigorous climate policy and consequently a major increase in CO2 price. In WLO-Low, there is only modest growth, with far more limited climate policy.

In WLO-High Lelystad Airport comes online, in WLO-Low it does not. An exception to this assumption was made for the contraction alternative in WLO-Low, where two subvariants were modelled. In one, Schiphol largely retains its hub function, by transferring holiday flights to Lelystad; in the other the hub function comes under pressure because Lelystad is not opened, removing the potential for holiday flight transfer.