Schiphol’s response to RIVM study into health effects

It is important that the RIVM carried out this research. It is the first time that this research was conducted on such a large scale. It shows how important it is to take action and significantly reduce emissions from the aviation industry. We understand that local residents are concerned.

Wilma van Dijk, director of Safety, Security & Environment at Schiphol

Over the past few years, Schiphol has taken several important measures to reduce emissions. The aviation sector launched an ultrafine particles action plan in 2019, after the first stage of the study carried out by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). It contains measures to reduce emissions produced by traffic to and from the airport, at the airport and by aircraft. Schiphol continues to work hard on those measures. Schiphol encourages fleet renewal, the use of sustainable fuels and the implementation of sustainable taxiing. We also encourage the use of just one engine during the taxi process, where that isn’t already being done. In addition, we are speeding up the purchase of electric ground power units, which will replace the diesel equivalents.

Schiphol is looking at both local residents and employees. Part of the action plan that was started after the first RIVM study is the study carried out last year by TNO on behalf of Schiphol into the concentrations of ultrafine particles at Schiphol. Schiphol and partners are using this knowledge to jointly investigate which additional measures should be taken in the short and medium term to further reduce ultrafine particles, such as towing aircraft and adjusting ground procedures. The aviation sector, FVN (on behalf of the trade unions), the Dutch government and research institutions are now working together to tackle ultrafine particle emissions and improve local air quality at Schiphol.

Read more: Schiphol | All about ultrafine particles

Background ultrafine particles

  • 2015: exploratory research carried out by RIVM shows that ultrafine particles around Schiphol come from aviation
  • 2017: start of RIVM study into ultrafine particle health risks in the area around Schiphol
  • 2019: Clean Air Agreement signed
  • 2019: interim results ultrafine particle research RIVM: Research into the health effects of short-term exposure to ultrafine particles in the vicinity of Schiphol Airport
  • 2019: presentation of Schiphol's ultrafine particles action plan
  • 2020: announcement of TNO study into concentrations at Schiphol
  • September 2021: RIVM proposal: Exploratory study into the feasibility of a health study for Schiphol workers
  • Start of 2022: Results of RIVM research in the area around Schiphol: health effects of long-term exposure to ultrafine particles and integrated report