19 Apr Main challenges for the Amsterdam Schiphol – Lelystad Airport twin airport solution


This month the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is expected to present its view on Amsterdam Schiphol. We are looking forward to this Mainport Schiphol policy paper we think is crucial for Schiphol airport to keep its position as one of Europe’s main hub airports. One expected strategic initiatives is to give priority to development of Lelystad Airport and the other is the ambition of Schiphol itself. In this blog we discuss for the idea to include neighbouring Lelystad Airport in the Mainport vision, but also the main challenges.

A successful Schiphol-Lelystad twin-airport can be seen as just a precondition for future growth of Mainport Schiphol.


All parties involved in the Alders Agreements and the Aviation policy (2009) have committed to the selective growth of Mainport Schiphol. This means that, due to limited capacity, priority is given to hub traffic that adds the most value to the Mainport Schiphol. The focus is on traffic to business destinations both within and outside Europe, mainly operated by KLM and partners as well as other mainport-related parties. Other traffic may use regional airports, like Eindhoven airport and especially Lelystad airport. Why do we think Lelystad Airport is a good alternative?:

  • For the growth of Lelystad currently sufficient political support exists.
  • At a busy airport like Amsterdam Schiphol it is very hard to test the necessary new innovations that could potentially increase capacity both on land- as airside. Lelystad can be a perfect test site for Schiphol and the Dutch air traffic control (LVNL) for introducing innovative solutions, so that in the future even more growth is possible also at Schiphol Airport itself.

Main challenges

A real challenge is to make Lelystad Airport attractive to airlines to choose for. But there are some challenges to make Schiphol-Lelystad a successful twin-airport, the main challenges are:

  • Airlines and travellers will need to be seduced to use Lelystad airport. The 2014 business case for the airport states that an attractive range of facilities, services, competitive rates and financial incentives will be required.
  • The ‘Covenant Development Lelystad Airport’ stipulates that the parties pursue a sustainable and innovative development of Lelystad Airport. However, the location is not free of conflicting interests; aviation growth versus an expanding windfarm. In this particular case a choice must be made: a compromise in not possible, else the aircraft are soon to ‘slalom’ between the windmills.
  • High priority should be given to develop ATC and development of airside procedures which have to be implemented at Lelystad Airport. While the pre-studies for the route design were concluded in 2014 a lot of work still needs to be done before they can be finalized.

A precondition for future growth

A successful Schiphol-Lelystad twin-airport can be seen as a precondition for future growth of Mainport Schiphol. The political will is there to do the necessary investments, it must be extended to solve the current conflicts of interest. The LVNL should not only make Lelystad airport’s route development an absolute priority, it is also a chance to implement new innovative technologies. By choosing this approach a win-win situation can be assured for both airports.

About To70. To70 is one of the world’s leading aviation consultancies, founded in the Netherlands with offices in Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. To70 believes that society’s growing demand for transport and mobility can be met in a safe, efficient, environmentally friendly and economically viable manner. For more information, please refer to www.to70.com

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Arjen de Leege
Arjen de Leege
Arjen de Leege is an aviation consultant that takes a data-driven approach to solve problems, drive decision making, and deliver new insights. In 2007 he was happy to join the Dutch To70 team and contribute to the team with his experience in flight tracking and flight data analysis using ADS-B, operations research techniques, modelling, and simulation.
  • Grove
    Posted at 15:57h, 17 May Reply

    Goede middag,
    Ik begrijp dat To70 een groot voorstander is van vliegveld Lelystad? Als dat zo is vermoed ik dat u niet veel vliegers met ervaring in uw team heeft. Graag zou ik een uitleg ontvangen van uw standpunt.
    Met vriendelijke groet,
    Paul Grove

    • Arjen de Leege
      Posted at 15:52h, 20 May Reply

      Beste Paul,
      Hartelijk dank voor je reactie. Na advies van De Alderstafel is in 2012 besloten om Lelystad Airport verder te ontwikkelen. Wij hadden verwacht dat in het actieplan Mainport Schiphol van het kabinet verdere uitwerking zou staan hoe de ontwikkeling van Lelystad Airport vorm zou moeten krijgen. Het ontwikkelen van Lelystad Airport kent diverse uitdagingen, zeker als het gaat om design van de vliegroutes en -procedures. Ook het aantrekkelijk maken voor airlines en passagiers om op Lelystad Airport te vliegen lijkt ons een belangrijk punt.
      Met vriendelijke groet,
      Arjen de Leege

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    Posted at 11:56h, 11 March Reply

    I think I have never seen such blogs ever before that has complete things with all details which I want. So kindly update this ever for us.
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  • Kees Kielen
    Posted at 16:12h, 21 December Reply

    Hoe zijn jullie er toe gekomen om al deze “rekenfouten” in de MER te maken? Hebben jullie daar zelf toe besloten, hebben jullie die info van Schiphol? Kortom wie heeft de input van der MER berekeningen geleverd.

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