EIA Schiphol full of miscalculations

Earlier this week Amsterdam Airport Schiphol released its third (!) review of its Environmental Impact Assessment. The report is (again) incorrect on a number of important points.

This conclusion follows from reports written by the Dutch Environmental Federation, consulting firms PWC and MovingDot.

According to its own EIA, Schiphol can grow to handle 540.000 flights a year, 40.000 more than currently permitted.

Not the environment, but the capacity at air traffic control is the limiting factor, according to the airport’s report.

“The calculations on a number of points are not carried out according to standards, wrong assumptions are used en the method provides a too low estimate of noise pollution”, say the critics. Read more >

Sneak preview: the site

Users of our app document aviation noise levels. Our aim is to publish the results on our site. Here’s a preview of what you can expect:

Actual measurements with beta version of Explane app

Our site will offer visitors the possibility to view the collected data in various ways. Above an example of measurements with their geolocation and their noise level. The darker the dots, the more noise.

From such a map you can zoom in and out to view details for your neighboorhood. The example shows The Netherlands since we’ve started here, but the app works worldwide!

Zoomed in on measurements around Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Tips & tricks: use Explane outdoors

If you use our app, please use it outdoors. This gives you the best quality measurement of aviation noise.

If you use it inside your home, the real noise of the plane is lowered with at least 10 to 15 dB.

Please remember that the app cannot detect if you measure inside or outside your home. Every measurement that you send us will be part of the open access database we are building.

For best results it is important to measure the real noise of airplanes, not the muted level inside your home.

UN environment boss resigns after too much flying

Erik Solheim, chief of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP, resigns after British newspaper The Guardian revealed he spent almost $500,000 on air travel and hotels in just 22 months.

photo: unenvironment.org

Contributing countries were so unhappy with his conduct that they are holding tens of millions of dollars. A financial crisis looms at the body.

An internal audit of UNEP says Solheims conduct is a “reputation risk” for an organisation dedicated to improve the environment.

The UN accepted Solheim’s resignation yesterday, says The Guardian.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are countries that have publicly stated to be halting funding for the organization until the issues around Solheim are solved. In total around $50 million could be at stake.
Read more >

Research to move Schiphol into North Sea

The Dutch government researches possibilities to move Amsterdam Schiphol Airport at least partially into the North Sea.

This follows upon a proposal composed by entrepreneurs and residents living around the airport. Noise will not cause any inconvenience there. A runway at sea will bring relief to the entire Amsterdam region.

“Air traffic continues to grow, reducing flights is not an option”, says researcher Eef Haverkort to daily newspaper De Telegraaf. “Runways can be located in the sea.”

The other alternative to reduce the pressure on Schiphol is Lelystad Airport. Due to mistakes made in decision making the opening of this airport is yet again postponed for another year. Building an airport in the sea is the only viable option left if Schiphol continues to grow. Read more >

Explane 1.1 released

Version 1.1 of the Explane-app to register aviation noise is now available at Google Play. Update your apps or visit https://explane.org to download the newest version.

V1.1 is based on the feedback we have received since the introduction of the initial app.

Enhancements are:

  • First registration with the initial app did not record the noise level. V1.1 does it correctly – from the very first measurement on.
  • Registration of the location is now cut with two decimals to ensure your privacy. Your location will be recorded on a district level now.
  • You are now able to see your own registrations of noise nuissance within the app. Please use the new button ‘Submitted’ in the app to view.
  • The corridor in which airplanes are detected has been broadened. We found that in the earlier version the app was not always able to find the plane that corresponded with the noise.
  • Read more >

    Dutch vote yes to kerosene tax

    Yesterday Dutch parliament voted yes to have taxes on aviation fuel. Government is now obligated to research if it can get support from other countries united under the ICAO lobby club.

    Aviation industry doesn’t pay any taxes on fuel following an international agreement stemming from 1944. The agreement was made to reconstruct aviation industry after WW2.

    Earlier this year the Dutch confirmed to introduce a passenger airfare tax. Preferably in cooperation with other European countries, but if this support can not be found, they will introduce it nationally.

    Aviation industry not paying taxes on fuel gives it an unfair advantage over other forms of transportation. Dutch parliament wants to end this preferential position. Read more >


    This app is built by Roelof Meijer, professional app builder. If you have a need for a complex app, please do contact him to receive an offer. You can reach Roelof at [email protected].

    The use of the app would not have been possible without the open access database of OpenSky, providing the data necessary to connect your noise measurement to the actual flight data of the plane causing this noise. Thanks for providing this access to your database.

    This app has been build in with the open source tools and services of Ionic. Thanks for our happy coding.

    The data that comes from the app is visualised at our website ‘Aviation Noise Reports by Explane.org’. It’s done by Microsofts PowerBI tool and allows open access to the data and provides tools for manipulating the data. Read more >

    About the app

    Explane is an app that empowers you to register a flight above your head including the sound level (in dB) your smartphone measures.

    plane airport airplane sky

    If you touch the microphone at the start screen, a measurement is started for the duration of 10 seconds.

    Choose the start of your measurement preferably in a way that the plane will pass you in these 10 seconds. Please keep your measurement pure and be careful not to measure any other noises.

    If by accident you measure non-aviation noise, please don’t send the registration to our database. It would pollute our database and would make it less trustworthy.

    The app only registers airplanes on a maximum attitude of 10.000 meters (30.000 feet) within a radius of 5 kilometers (3 miles). Read more >

    About the developer

    Roelof Meijer is a professional app developer based in The Netherlands. He built this app free of charge, because he himself has to cope with traffic noise (trains) and he knows how difficult it is to counterbalance professional lobbyists.

    The app implements an idea of SchipholWatch, a group of noise abused residents around Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

    Roelof is available for building your app too. Not free of charge of course, but if you have a need for a professional designed and built app, please do contact him via e-mail address [email protected].