Why can’t the runway be shifted eastwards, so that people in the Netherlands get less noise pollution?
Decisions about far-reaching proposals of this kind fall within the competence of the NATO nations. The E-3A Component has no say in this. The Netherlands is indeed in favour of this project, but the funding of it has to be approved by all the NATO nations. The countries participating in the NATO AWACS programme have decided that extension of the runway is not an operational necessity. It is therefore almost impossible to obtain funding for this project. Furthermore, the German government has ascertained that as a consequence of runway extension the noise level increase in Germany would be greater than the noise level decrease in the Netherlands. Moreover it would be extremely difficult to obtain authorization for this project in Germany in view of factors such as the presence of a local nature reserve there. This aspect obviously resulted in complaints from German authorities and nature lovers who, unlike their Dutch counterparts in former times, had already had to accept the felling of trees in that nature reserve to create the obstacle-free zone on the eastern side of the air base