The KLM Group, a prominent Dutch aviation company, has put forward a comprehensive plan to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management in response to the government's initiative to minimize noise impact.
With the objective of achieving a 20 percent reduction in noise during the day by 2026 and 15 percent at night, the KLM Group is committed to going even further in noise abatement. Their proposal aims to reach the night-time target by 2024, followed by sustained noise reduction in the subsequent years.
In alignment with the Netherlands' environmental goals, which prioritize a greener future and quieter conditions for airport-adjacent residents, the KLM Group believes that the current ministry plan focuses excessively on flight reduction without sufficient consideration for renewal and improvement.
Moreover, KLM highlights the plan's failure to differentiate between newer, cleaner aircraft and older, noisier ones, as well as the potential consequences of significant flight cutbacks on national assets.
To address these issues, the KLM Group has introduced a "smarter, three-pronged approach to noise reduction."
Firstly, they propose a substantial investment of 6 to 7 billion euros in new aircraft, ensuring future earnings are directed towards cleaner, quieter, and more efficient planes. Recent data shows that newer aircraft can be up to 50 percent quieter.
Secondly, the KLM Group has conducted extensive research to develop smarter operational processes that prioritize quieter operations. This includes exploring alternative flight approach procedures to minimize time spent at low altitudes. While implementation may pose challenges for airlines and local air traffic control, the KLM Group believes that collaborative efforts among all operators can achieve the desired noise targets.
Thirdly, the group suggests adjusting flight schedules to utilize the quietest aircraft during nighttime operations. They propose implementing higher airport fees for noisier aircraft compared to their quieter counterparts at Schiphol Airport, thus encouraging airlines to prioritize quieter fleets.
The KLM Group anticipates meeting the night-time noise targets by 2024, followed by a continued reduction in noise throughout the day within three years. Their plan aims to deliver superior outcomes for local residents compared to the minister's proposal, offering a choice between short-term flight reductions or long-term smart improvements.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, headquartered in Amstelveen and operating from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, is the national flag carrier of the Netherlands. As part of the Air France-KLM group and a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, KLM connects 92 European cities and serves 70 intercontinental destinations worldwide.