5 days Spotting trip to Amsterdam (AMS)
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM), known informally as Schiphol Airport (Dutch: Luchthaven Schiphol, pronounced, is the main international airport of the Netherlands. It is located 9 kilometres southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer, North Holland. It is the third-busiest airport in Europe in terms of passenger volume and the busiest in Europe in terms of aircraft movement. The airport is built as a single-terminal concept: one large terminal split into three large departure halls. Schiphol is the hub for KLM and its regional affiliate KLM Cityhopper as well as for Corendon Dutch Airlines, Martinair, Transavia and TUI fly Netherlands. The airport also serves as a base for EasyJet and LEVEL.
Schiphol opened on 16 September 1916 as a military airbase. The end of the First World War also saw the beginning of civilian use of Schiphol Airport and the airport eventually lost its military role completely. By 1940, Schiphol had four asphalt runways at 45-degree angles. The airport was captured by the German military that same year and renamed Fliegerhorst Schiphol. The airport was destroyed through bombing but at the end of the war, the airfield was soon rebuilt. In 1949, it was decided that Schiphol was to become the primary airport of the Netherlands.
Schiphol Airport is an important European airport, ranking as Europe's third busiest and the world's eleventh busiest by total passenger traffic in 2017 (12th in 2016, 14th in 2015, 2014 and 2013 and 16th in 2012). It also ranks as the world's fifth busiest by international passenger traffic and the world's sixteenth busiest for cargo tonnage. 63,625,664 passengers passed through the airport in 2016. Schiphol's main competitors in terms of passenger traffic and cargo throughput are London-Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul and Madrid–Barajas.
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%).
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 9 to a total of 274. Regular destinations serviced exclusively by full freighters (non-passenger) grew by eight to a total of twenty-seven.
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. A new pier is to be opened in 2019 with a terminal extension planned to be operational by 2023. Plans for further terminal and gate 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 (due to the limit of 500,000 flights a year), 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, such as EasyJet and Transavia, however, continue to operate at Schiphol, using the low-cost H pier. Lelystad Airport is currently being expanded aimed at accommodating some of the low-cost and leisure flights currently operating out of Schiphol, eventually taking up to 45,000 flights a year.
All photos are Copyright by Martin and Christoph Rogosz