SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam officials and Schiphol airport have reached agreement on tackling the airport’s public transport problems, including the option of extending the city’s new metro route to the main terminal building.
Schiphol chief executive Dick Benschop told Parool reporters on Monday evening that the first proposals are now with central government. ‘The question is no longer if the metro should be extended but when,’ Benschop said.
Amsterdam’s transport alderman Sharon Dijksma has confirmed that the city is in talks about ‘improving the connection between the south west of the city and Schiphol, including extending the metro,’ the paper said.
The city’s new metro line, which is just 10 kilometres long, opened this summer but critics say officials wasted an opportunity to make a link to the airport, which is becoming increasingly difficult to reach by car, as well as commuter towns to the north.
Benschop also told his audience at Schiphol’s New Year reception on Monday evening that the airport needed to build ‘a new relationship with its surroundings’ and that Schiphol employees’ remuneration will, from now on, also depend on Schiphol’s reputation among local residents.
‘The conversation with directors and residents is under way,’ Benschop said. ‘Yet it is clear that we have a lot more to do to regain confidence and restore the balance. For many it is: ‘we’ll have to see it to believe it’.”
Noise complaints reached a record level last year. In total 11,500 complaints were made to the airport noise hotline, three times the number in 2017. Schiphol is now nearing the limits of its potential expansion, with 499,446 take-offs and landings last year.
The airport faces a ceiling of 500,000 aircraft movements up to 2020. The airport processed 71 million passengers last year, a rise of 3.7% on 2017 but freight volumes were down 3%. Schiphol currently serves 326 destinations.