Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Template:Lang-nl, Template:IPA-nl) Template:Airport codes is the main international airport of the Netherlands, located 20 minutes (Template:Convert<ref name="AIP"/>) southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. It is the fourth busiest airport in Europe in terms of passengers.

Schiphol is the primary hub for KLM and its regional affiliate KLM Cityhopper as well as for Arkefly, Corendon Dutch Airlines, Martinair and The airport also serves as a European hub for Delta Air Lines and as a base for Vueling. Schiphol is considered to be an airport city. The airport's official English name, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, reflects the original Dutch word order (Luchthaven Schiphol).


Schiphol is an important European airport, ranking as Europe's 4th busiest and the world's 16th busiest by total passenger traffic in 2012 (14th in 2011). It also ranks as the world's 5th busiest by international passenger traffic and the world's 17th busiest for cargo tonnage. 51 million passengers passed through the airport in 2012, a 3% increase compared with 2010.<ref name="AMSSTAT" /> Schiphol's main competitors in terms of passenger traffic and cargo throughput are London Heathrow Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Paris–Charles de Gaulle Airport and Madrid–Barajas Airport.

In 2010, 65.9% of passengers using the airport flew to and from Europe, 11.7% to and from North America and 8.8% to and from Asia; cargo volume was mainly between Schiphol and Asia (45%) and North America (17%).<ref name=annual2010>Template:Cite web</ref>

In 2010, 106 carriers provided a total of 301 destinations on a regular basis. Passenger destinations were offered by 91 airlines. Direct (non-stop) destinations grew by 9Template:When to 274. Regular destinations serviced exclusively by full freighters (non-passenger) grew by 8Template:When to a total of 27.<ref name=Annual2009>Template:Cite web</ref>

The airport is built as one large terminal (a single terminal concept), split into three large departure halls, which connect again once airside. The most recent of these was completed in 1994, and expanded in 2007 with a new section, called Terminal 4, although it is not considered a separate building. Plans for further terminal expansion exist, including the construction of a separate new terminal between the Zwanenburgbaan and Polderbaan runways that would end the one-terminal concept.

Because of intense traffic and high landing fees, some low cost carriers decided to move their flights to smaller airports, such as Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Eindhoven Airport. Many low cost carriers like EasyJet, however, continue to operate from Schiphol, using the low-cost H-pier.

Schiphol is equipped with 18 double jetway gates in preparation for airlines introducing the Airbus A380. Emirates was the first airline to fly the A380 to Schiphol in August 2012, deploying the aircraft on its daily Dubai–Amsterdam service.


Schiphol opened on 16 September 1916 as a military airbase, with a few barracks and a field serving as platform and runways. When civil aircraft started to use the field (17 December 1920) it was often called Schiphol-les-bains. The Fokker aircraft manufacturer started a factory near Schiphol airport in 1919.

By 1940, Schiphol had four asphalt runways at 45-degree angles, all Template:Convert or less. One was extended to become today's runway 4/22; two others crossed that runway at Template:Coord.

In 1967, Dutch designer Benno Wissing created signage for Schiphol Airport well known for its clear writing and thorough color-coding; to avoid confusion, he prohibited any other signage in the shades of yellow and green used.<ref name="rawthorn">Template:Cite news</ref> New wayfinding signage at Schiphol was designed in 1991 by Paul Mijksenaar.

Schiphol's name is derived from a former fortification named Fort Schiphol which was part of the Stelling van Amsterdam defence works.<ref name="stelling">Template:Cite web</ref> Before 1852, the Haarlemmermeer polder in which the airport lies was a large lake with some shallow areas. There are multiple stories of how the place got its name. The most popular story is that in the shallow waters sudden violent storms could claim many ships. This was the main reason for reclaiming it. In English, Schiphol translates to 'Ship Grave', a reference to many ships supposedly lost in the lake. When the lake was reclaimed, however, there were no ship wrecks found. Another possible origin of the name is the word 'scheepshaal'. A scheepshaal is a ditch or little canal in which ships would be towed from one lake to another. A third explanation would be that the name derived from the words 'scip hol'. This is a low lying area of land (hol, like in the name Holland) from where wood would be obtained to build ships.


Map showing the six runways of Schiphol
Schiphol Airport Library


Schiphol uses a one terminal concept, where all facilities are located under a single roof, radiating from the central 'plaza'. The terminal, though, is divided into three sections or halls designated 1, 2 and 3. To all of these halls, piers or concourses are connected. However, it is possible, on both sides of security or border inspection, to walk from between piers, even those connected to different halls. The exception to this is the low-cost pier M: once airside (past security), passengers cannot access any other areas. Border control separates Schengen from non-Schengen areas. Schiphol Airport has approximately 165 boarding gates.

Schiphol has large shopping areas as a source of revenue and as an additional attraction for passengers. Schiphol Plaza is the shopping centre before customs, hence it is used by air travelers and non-traveling visitors.

Departure Hall 1

Departure Hall 1 consists of Piers B and C, both of which are dedicated Schengen areas. Pier B has 14 gates and Pier C has 21 gates. The new Pier A will open in 2016 and will have 8 gates.

Departure Hall 2

Departure Hall 2 consists of Piers D and E.

Pier D is the largest pier and has two levels. The lower floor houses non-Schengen flights, and the upper floor is used for Schengen flights. By using stairs, the same jetways are used to access the aircraft. Schengen gates are numbered beginning with D-59, non-Schengen gates are numbered from D-1 to D-57.

Pier E is a dedicated non-Schengen area and has 14 gates. It is typically home to SkyTeam hub airlines Delta Air Lines and KLM, along with other members, such as China Airlines and China Southern Airlines. Other Middle Eastern and Asian airlines such as EVA Air, Etihad Airways, Iran Air, Air Astana, and Malaysia Airlines also typically operate out of Pier E.

Departure Hall 3

Departure Hall 3 consists of piers F, G, H and M. Pier F has 8 gates and is typically dominated by SkyTeam members such as primary airline KLM, Kenya Airways, and other members, such as China Airlines and China Southern Airlines. Pier G has 13 gates and is the only terminal that handles daily Airbus A380 service, by Emirates. Piers H and M have 7 gates each and are home to low-cost airlines. Piers F, G and H are non-Schengen areas. Pier M is a dedicated Schengen area. Piers H and M are the low-cost piers.

Further facilities

In summer 2010, Schiphol Airport Library opened alongside the museum, providing passengers access to a collection of 1,200 books (translated into 29 languages) by Dutch authors or on subjects relating to the country's history and culture. The Template:Convert library offers e-books and music by Dutch artists and composers that can be downloaded free of charge to a laptop or mobile device.<ref name="clark">Template:Cite news</ref>

The Rijksmuseum operates an annex at the airport, offering a small overview of both classical and contemporary art. Admission to the exhibits is free.

For aviation enthusiasts, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has a large rooftop viewing area, called the Panoramaterras. It is not accessible to connecting passengers unless they first exit the airport. Enthusiasts and the public can enter, free of charge, from the airport's landside. Since June 2011, it is the location for a KLM Cityhopper Fokker 100, modified to be a viewing exhibit. Besides the Panoramaterras, Schiphol has other spotting sites, especially along the newest Polderbaan runway and at the McDonald's restaurant at the north side of the airport.

Schiphol has its own mortuary, where the dead can be handled and kept before departure or after arrival. Since October 2006, people can also hold a wedding ceremony at Schiphol.<ref name="baskas">Template:Cite news</ref>


The Schiphol Air traffic control tower, with a height of Template:Convert, was the tallest in the world when constructed in 1991.Template:Citation needed Schiphol is geographically one of the world's lowest major commercial airports. The entire airport is below sea level; the lowest point sits at Template:Convert below sea level (or Template:Convert below the Dutch Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP)); the runways are around Template:Convert below NAP.


Schiphol has six runways, one of which is used mainly by general aviation aircraft. The northern end of the Polderbaan, the last runway to be constructed, is Template:Convert north of the control tower, causing taxi times of up to 20 minutes to the terminal.

Number Runway direction/code Length
(in metres and feet)
Runway common name Source of the name Surface Notes
1 18R/36L 3,800 m
12,467 ft
Polderbaan Decided via contest. 'Polder' is the Dutch word for land reclaimed from a body of water. Schiphol Airport is situated in a polder. Asphalt Newest runway, opened 2003.
Located to reduce the noise impact on the surrounding population; aircraft have a lengthy 15-minute taxi to and from the Terminal. The intended landing runway for Turkish Airlines Flight 1951, which crashed in a field just short of the runway.
2 06/24 3,500 m
11,483 ft
Kaagbaan Named after the Kagerplassen which lies at the end of the runway Asphalt The Kaagbaan offered a location for spotters until the spotting location was closed in January 2008.<ref name="spotters">Template:Cite web</ref>
3 09/27 3,453 m
11,329 ft
Buitenveldertbaan Named after Buitenveldert, a part of Amsterdam Asphalt El Al Flight 1862 was trying to land at this runway when it crashed into a block of flats in the Bijlmermeer.<ref name="Webpage on the accident El-Al 1852">Webpage on the accident El-Al 1852Template:Dead link</ref>
4 18L/36R 3,400 m
11,155 ft
Aalsmeerbaan Named after Aalsmeer Asphalt
5 18C/36C 3,300 m
10,826 ft
Zwanenburgbaan Named after the village Zwanenburg Asphalt El Al Flight 1862 took off from this runway before crashing into flats in the Bijlmermeer when the plane was trying to return to the airport.<ref name="Webpage on the accident El-Al 1852"/>
6 04/22 2,014 m
6,608 ft
Oostbaan Most Eastern (Oost) of all runways Asphalt In October 2010 a B-737 of Corendon Airlines overshot this short runway and ended up with its nosegear in the mud.<ref name="corendonoost">Template:Cite web</ref>

Airlines and destinations


File:A6-EDF (7882154516).jpg
Emirates Airbus A380-800 in Amsterdam
File:4X-EKL (3770181486).jpg
El Al Boeing 737-800 in Amsterdam
File:F-GKXA (7898646572).jpg
Air France Airbus A320-200 in Amsterdam

Note: The piers listed are not definite since very few airlines have dedicated piers or gates; the piers listed below are based on typical conditions.




Other users

Other regular users of Schiphol are the Dutch Coast Guard whose aircraft operated by the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the Dienst Luchtvaart Politie and the Dutch Dakota Association.


Busiest European Routes from Amsterdam Airport (2013)
Rank City Passengers Top Carriers
1 20px London (Heathrow), United Kingdom 1,443,670 British Airways, KLM, KLM Cityhopper
2 20px Barcelona, Spain 1,186,682 KLM,, Vueling
3 20px Paris (Charles de Gaulle), France 1,126,680 Air France, KLM
4 20px Rome (Fiumicino), Italy 956,580 Alitalia, easyJet, KLM, Vueling
5 20px Copenhagen, Denmark 805,925 KLM, KLM Cityhopper, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines
6 20px London (Gatwick), United Kingdom 750,856 British Airways, easyJet
7 20px Madrid, Spain 748,426 Air Europa, KLM
8 20px Antalya, Turkey 745,753 Arkefly, Corendon Airlines, Corendon Dutch Airlines, Freebird Airlines, Onur Air, Pegasus Airlines, SunExpress,
9 20px Frankfurt, Germany 717,143 KLM, KLM Cityhopper, Lufthansa
10 20px Zürich, Switzerland 697,658 KLM, KLM Cityhopper, Swiss International Air Lines
11 20px Munich, Germany 693,233 KLM, KLM Cityhopper, Lufthansa, Lufthansa Regional
12 20px Manchester, United Kingdom 691,660 easyJet, KLM, KLM Cityhopper
13 20px Lisbon, Portugal 672,122 easyJet, KLM, TAP Portugal,
14 20px Stockholm (Arlanda), Sweden 660,124 KLM, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines
15 20px Geneva, Switzerland 627,260 easyJet Switzerland, KLM, KLM Cityhopper
16 20px Istanbul (Atatürk), Turkey 612,997 Corendon, Freebird Airlines, KLM, Turkish Airlines
17 20px Oslo (Gardermoen), Norway 604,396 KLM, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Scandinavian Airlines
18 20px Edinburgh, United Kingdom 561,256 easyJet, KLM
19 20px Milan (Linate), Italy 546,140 Alitalia, Alitalia CityLiner, KLM
20 20px Vienna, Austria 519,432 Austrian Airlines, KLM, KLM Cityhopper
Busiest Intercontinental Routes from Amsterdam Airport (2013)
Rank City Passengers Top Carriers
1 20px Detroit, United States 648,798 Delta
2 20px New York (JFK), United States 628,499 Delta, KLM
3 20px Dubai, United Arab Emirates 610,431 Arkefly, Emirates, KLM,
4 20px Atlanta, United States 595,469 Delta, KLM
5 20px Minneapolis/Saint Paul, United States 462,945 Delta
6 20px Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi), Thailand 459,850 China Airlines, EVA Air, KLM
7 20px Nairobi, Kenya 397,131 Kenya Airways, KLM
8 20px Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 396,084 KLM, Malaysia Airlines
9 20px Curaçao, Curaçao 390,266 Arkefly, KLM
10 20px Toronto, Canada 378,495 Air Transat, Arkefly, KLM
11 20px Hong Kong, Hong Kong 368,444 Cathay Pacific, KLM
12 20px Tel Aviv, Israel 343,545 Arkia Israel Airlines, El Al, Israir, KLM,
13 20px Houston, United States 317,751 KLM, United Airlines
14 20px Singapore, Singapore 314,581 KLM, Singapore Airlines
15 20px Shanghai (Pudong), China 301,778 KLM
16 20px Beijing (Capital), China 301,008 China Southern Airlines, KLM
17 20px Tokyo (Narita), Japan 280,561 KLM
18 20px Seattle, United States 276,331 Delta
19 20px Washington (Dulles), United States 274,249 KLM, United Airlines
20 20px Boston, United States 269,967 Delta

Other facilities

File:KLM Cityhopper offices Schiphol-Oost.jpg
The Convair Building, which houses KLM Cityhopper and KLM offices, and the original Schiphol control tower

The TransPort Building on the Schiphol Airport property houses the head offices of Martinair and<ref name="Newbuild">Template:Cite press releaseTemplate:Dead link</ref> Construction on the building, which has Template:Convert of rentable space, began on 17 March 2009. Schiphol Group and the architect firm Paul de Ruiter designed the building, while De Vries and Verburg, a firm of Stolwijk, constructed the building.<ref name="martinairNew">Template:Cite press release</ref>

The World Trade Center Schiphol Airport houses the head office of SkyTeam,<ref name="milestone">Template:Cite newsTemplate:Dead link</ref><ref name="wtc">Template:Cite web</ref> the Netherlands office of China Southern Airlines,<ref name="chinas">Template:Cite web</ref> and the Netherlands offices of Iran Air. The head office of Schiphol Group, the airport's operator, is located on the airport property. The Convair Building, with its development beginning after a parcel was earmarked for its development in 1999, houses KLM offices,<ref name="Annual1999Page35">"Annual Report 1999." (Archive) Schiphol Group. 35 (36/87). Retrieved on 20 February 2011.</ref> including KLM Recruitment Services and the head office of KLM Cityhopper.<ref name="Recruit">"Contact." (Dutch) KLM. Retrieved on 20 February 2011. "KLM Recruitment Services (SPL/GO) Stationsplein 102 (Convair Building) 1117 BV Schiphol-Oost"</ref> The original control tower of Schiphol Airport, which the airport authorities had moved slightly from its original location, now houses a restaurant.<ref name="Annual1999Page35"/> The area Schiphol-Rijk includes the head offices of Arkefly and Amsterdam Airlines.

At one time KLM had its head office on the grounds of Schiphol Airport. Its current head office in Amstelveen had a scheduled completion at the end of 1970. Previously Martinair had its head office in the Schiphol Center (Template:Lang-nl) at Schiphol Airport.<ref name="Martinhist">"HistoryTemplate:Dead link." Martinair. Retrieved on 16 February 2011.</ref> Formerly, the head office of was in the Building Triport III at Schiphol Airport. NLM Cityhopper and later KLM Cityhopper previously had their head offices in Schiphol Airport building 70.<ref name="">"World Airline Directory." Flight International. 27 March – 2 April 1991. 98. "Head Office: Building 70, PO Box 7700, 1117 ZL Schiphol Airport (East), The Netherlands."</ref><ref name=""/>

Nippon Cargo Airlines has its Europe regional headquarters at Schiphol. The National Aerospace Museum Aviodome–Schiphol was previously located at Schiphol. In 2003 the museum moved to Lelystad Airport and was renamed the "Aviodrome."

Ground transport


The construction of the tunnel and railway station in 1992

Template:Main The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the national Dutch train operator, has a major passenger railway station directly underneath the passenger terminal complex that offers transportation into Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam and many other cities. There are intercity connections to Amsterdam Centraal, Utrecht Centraal, both The Hague Centraal and The Hague HS, Rotterdam Centraal, Eindhoven, Groningen, Enschede and Heerlen. Schiphol is also a stop for the Thalys international high-speed train, connecting the airport directly to Antwerp, Brussels and Paris.


Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is also easily accessible by bus, as many services call or terminate at the bus station located outside in front of the terminal building.<ref>Template:Cite web </ref> Bus journeys can be planned using the 9292 nationwide journey planner.

Destination Service(s) Notes
Aalsmeer 198
Alphen aan den Rijn 370
Amstelveen 186, 199, 300, night bus N30
Amsterdam, Leidseplein 197, night bus N97 Leidseplein is the closest destination to Amsterdam's city centre that is served by bus from Schiphol.
Amsterdam, Osdorp 69, 192
Amsterdam, Slotervaart 69, 195
Amsterdam, Amsterdam–Zuid and Buitenveldert 310
Haarlem 300, night bus N30
Hoofddorp 300, 310, night bus N30
Keukenhof Gardens 58 (seasonal)
Lisse 361
Leimuiden 370
Ouderkerk aan de Amstel 300, night bus N30
Noordwijk 361 through Sassenheim
Vijfhuizen 300, night bus N30


Schiphol Airport can easily be reached by car via the A4 and A9 motorways. Schiphol offers several car parking facilities, which include short term parking, valet parking and other parking offers.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 14 November 1946, a Douglas C-47 operated by KLM from London approached Schiphol during bad weather conditions. The first two attempts to land failed. During the third attempt, the pilot realized that the airplane was not lined up properly with the runway. The aircraft made a sharp left turn at low speed, causing the left wing to hit the ground. The airplane crashed and caught fire, killing all 26 people on board, including the plane's crew of five.
  • On 4 October 1992, El Al Flight 1862, a Boeing 747 cargo airplane heading to Tel Aviv, suffered physical engine separation of both right-wing engines (#3 and #4) just after taking off from Schiphol and crashed into an apartment building in the Bijlmer neighbourhood of Amsterdam while attempting to return to the airport. A total of 43 people were killed, including the plane's crew of three and a "non-revenue passenger". Several others were injured.
  • On 4 April 1994, Flight KL433 to Cardiff, a Saab 340 operated by KLM Cityhopper, returned to Schiphol after setting the number two engine to flight idle because the crew mistakenly believed that the engine suffered from low oil pressure because of a faulty warning light. On final approach at a height of Template:Convert, the captain decided to go-around and gave full throttle on only the number one engine leaving the other in flight idle. The airplane rolled to the right, pitched up, stalled and hit the ground at 80 degrees bank. Of the twenty-four people on board, three were killed including the captain. Nine others were seriously injured.
  • On 25 February 2005, a diamond robbery occurred at Schiphol's cargo terminal. The robbers used a stolen KLM van to gain airside access. The estimated value of the stones was around 75 million euros, making it the largest diamond robbery ever recorded.
  • On 27 October 2005, a fire broke out at the airport's detention centre, killing 11 people and injuring 15. The complex was holding 350 people at the time of the incident. Results from the investigation almost one year later showed that fire safety precautions were not in force. A national outrage resulted in the resignation of Justice Minister Donner (CDA) and Mayor Hartog of Haarlemmermeer. Spatial Planning Minister Dekker (VVD) resigned as well, because she bore responsibility for the construction, safety, and maintenance of state-owned buildings.
  • On 25 February 2009, Turkish Airlines Flight 1951, a Boeing 737-800 from Istanbul crashed on approach, just Template:Convert short of the airport's Polderbaan runway. The plane carried 128 passengers and 7 crew on board. 9 people were killed and a further 86 were injured, including six with serious injuries. An initial report from the Dutch Safety Board revealed that the left radio altimeter had failed to provide the correct height above the ground and suddenly reported Template:Convert. As a result of this the autothrottle system closed the thrust levers to idle, as it is programmed to reduce thrust when below Template:Convert radio altitude. This eventually resulted in a dropping airspeed which was not acted upon until it was too late to recover, and the aircraft stalled and crashed in a field.
  • On 2 March 2010, a Corendon Airlines pilot of Swedish origin was arrested at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol after flying commercial jets for 13 years without a license. He was due to fly a Boeing 737-400 to Ankara, Turkey with 101 passengers on board when the Dutch police arrested him.<ref name="">Template:Cite web</ref> A back-up pilot was brought in to fly the jet to its destination. It is reported that he had clocked up to 10,000 hours flying passenger jets for various European airlines and 2 years with Corendon Airlines before the tip-off from Swedish authorities. He held a commercial pilot license<ref name="" /> to fly small aircraft,<ref name="" /> but that license expired 13 years before the incident.<ref name="">Template:Cite web</ref>

See also


  • Transport in the Netherlands





  • Heuvel, Coen van den. Schiphol, een Wereldluchthaven in Beeld, Holkema & Warendorf, 1992, 978-9-0269-6271-4


External links


Template:Haarlemmermeer navbox Template:Airports in the Netherlands