Economy

Half of the Dutch want to shrink aviation, hardly any supporters of growth

Conversely, the number of Dutch people who want aviation to shrink has doubled, according to research conducted on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. This research was carried out for the third time, in 2018 for the first time.

In that year, a quarter of those surveyed were in favor of the contraction of aviation, in the representative sample of research firm Motivaction. This year it has risen to 49 percent. As a reason they mainly give the damage that flying causes to the environment.

The fans of shrinkage and opponents of further growth together account for 77 percent of the respondents. Eight percent have no opinion about the growth of aviation.

Economic interest

And 14 percent think there should be room for growth. This is important for the economy, because Schiphol airport and airline KLM are good for employment, say the proponents.

Preferably no flight tax

The growing aversion to aviation can also be seen when it comes to support for policies that force airlines to become more sustainable. Three quarters want airlines to have to switch to cleaner fuels. And a large majority want to have to pay extra for airlines that fly polluting or noisy aircraft when they fly to or from the Netherlands.

The preference for sustainability applies especially if the consumer is not affected by it. There is no majority for the introduction of a flight tax, although the opposition is smaller than before.

The increased resistance to flying may have been caused by the corona crisis, which means that there is much less flying anyway, according to the researchers. They warn that it remains to be seen to what extent all good intentions to fly less will be carried out.

Good intentions

A sign on the wall is that the group of Dutch people who say they are willing to fly less is about the same in every study. And of the group that said they wanted to fly less in 2018, it turned out in 2019 that they had not done so.

A possible explanation can be seen in the answer to the question of who according to the respondents is responsible for the flight behavior. According to the vast majority of those questioned, these are the government and airlines.

And if it were up to them, aviation may continue to grow, although the cabinet does set conditions for the growth in the field of the environment and noise pollution in the Aviation Memorandum published yesterday. This contains the government’s plans for aviation for the next thirty years.

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