Various residents of the Province are reporting issues including stress, sleeplessness, and anxiety thanks to the jets housed at Leeuwarden’s air base
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Since the Netherlands started receiving its orders of F-35 supersonic jet fighters (price: about 80 million euros each) residents in the entire Province have reported huge amounts of noise pollution caused by having the weapons of war stationed in Leeuwarden. The newspaper surveyed over 2,000 residents in the Province, from those that live next to the airbase, to those that live tens of kilometres away.
As reported by the Omrop Fryslân, people as far away as Harlingen have said that they are disturbed by the noise of the jets when in their own homes. Previously, when Leeuwarden’s Air Base hosted F-16 fighter jets, only 15 percent of Frisian residents said that they were often bothered by noise pollution. Now, with the F-35’s, that has risen to over half.
In Holwerd, about 22km from the airbase, 61.2 percent of people that responded to the Omrop Fryslâns questionnaire said that they were often bothered by the noise of the planes.
Around 30 percent of the respondents said that the noise pollution ‘negatively affects my daily life’, with some in places like Gorredijk, Harlingen, and Holwerd saying that the roaring planes made it impossible to have a conversation with someone in their garden.
Large numbers of children and animals have been made anxious and twitchy by the noise, and some people in the Province even reported having to cut short telephone conversations due to the noise of the jets.
Tjeerd Andringa, an expert on noise pollution at the RUG, says that it is important for people to report the disturbances when they occur. “Noise pollution really infringes on quality of life, and that must be made clear [to the government].”