Lelystad Airport expansion delayed at least to 2019

The plans for expanding Lelystad Airport have been significantly delayed. The first commercial aircraft will, at the earlierst, depart from the airport somehere in 2019, instead of April 2018 as initially planned, State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure wrote to parliament on Tuesday, ANP reports.

Classifying new departure and approach routes in the upper airspace is turning out to be more complicated than expected - the chosen routes need to have as llittle as possible impact on air traffic to and from Schiphol and can also not disrupt military airspace. Labor disputes with air traffic controllers also contributed to the delay.

The intention is to have Lelystad Airport take over short and medium length flights from Schiphol, leaving the national airport roo to focus on intercontinental flights and stepovers. The initial plan was to have Lelystad handle 2 thousand flights in 2018, increasing to 10 thousand five years later and eventually 45 thousand in 2043. 

Dijksma will try to have Lelystad Airport handle more than the intended 2 thousand flights from its new start date, which has not been determined yet. "In this way the consequences of the delayed opening of Lelystad Airport can be compensated", she wrote to parliament. 

Lelystad Airport is part of the airport company Schiphol Group.