Netherlands private jet airport ‘will avoid air traffic growth’ following climate protests


The CEO of Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands has pledged to avoid all air traffic growth and instead prioritise sustainability, after Extinction Rebellion protestors blocked the private jet ramp at the airport.

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion climate activists entered the grounds of the airport at the weekend (25th March) with the sole purpose of blocking the private jet area but did not enter the runway to avoid disrupting scheduled flights, according to the protest group’s Netherlands division.

Roel Hellemons, CEO, Eindhoven Airport responded to the action by promising to avoid pursuing air traffic growth, cap the number of business jets using the airport and promote the use of electric aircraft. He promised to limit the number of business jets that can land at the airport at 2.5% of the total number of flights. “In this segment in particular, we see opportunities to make aircraft electric and therefore more sustainable,” he said. 

He also promised to increase the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

“The climate movement is looking to call more attention to the impact of air traffic on the environment and the need for sustainability. Eindhoven Airport agrees with the urgency and necessity for increased sustainability,” he said. “It is partly for this reason that we are not pursuing growth for our air traffic, and instead are prioritising the sustainability of existing air traffic.”

Hellemons said that the airport has put forward proposals to the Dutch government to increase tax for passengers departing from the airport for the purchase of SAF.

Alicha van der Aa, co-organiser, Extinction Rebellion Netherlands said: “Eindhoven Airport has once again grown in flight movements and is almost back to pre-pandemic levels. That cannot be explained in any way. Aviation must shrink.”

The group said it wants fewer flights and a ban on short flights and private jets.