Expansion of Lelystad Airport wins Dutch Council of State backing

The Dutch Council of State approved expansion plans for Lelystad Airport. On Wednesday the Council ruled that the objections to the zoning plan for the airport are ungrounded, ANP reports.

The zoning plan states that the airport's runway can be extended from 1,250 meters long to 2,700 meters and from 30 meters wide to 45 meters. This makes the airport suitable for heavier aircraft types, something that is essential for the plans to have Lelystad take over some of Schiphol's traffic.

Two farmers and the Dutch bird protection organization objected to these plans. According to them, extending the runway would threaten the surrounding nature, and especially the harriers who live there. But the Council is satisfied that the surrounding area's nature would not be affected by the airport's planned expansion. The conservation objectives for the brown and blue harries in the Oostvaardersplassen are not threatened by the expansion, the Council ruled.

No further appeal is possible

The intention is to have Lelystad take over short and medium length flights from Schiphol airport, leaving Schiphol more room to handle the intercontinental flights. The government made this decision in 2015. Schiphol is very close to the capacity limit of 500 thousand flight movements a year until 2020.

The plan was to have the first large aircrafts land in Lelystad next year, though those plans have been delayed to at least 2019.

This ruling is therefore also good news for Schiphol. According to the Amsterdam airport, the ruling gives certainty for the development of Lelystad airport into the Netherlands' vacation airport. "This is positive news for the aviation sector of the Netherlands", a spokesperson said, according to the news wire. Lelystad airport is part of Schiphol Group.


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