Schiphol power failure shuts airport access for over an hour; Flight delays expected all morning

Schiphol Airport station in Amsterdam
A crowded train platform at Schiphol Airport with many headed to Amsterdam on King's Day. 27 April 2018Zack NewmarkNL Times

A power outage in Amsterdam severely affected operations at the city's Schiphol Airport on Sunday. The problems began early in the morning, with electricity restored by 4:30 a.m., but inbound flights were put on hold, and arrivals were set to be reduced through at least 11 a.m. causing a knock-on effect to the airport's scheduled flights.

Some 67 departures and 66 arrivals were cancelled through 8 p.m., as well as dozens of delays, according to the airport.

Issues with getting check-in systems online prompted Schiphol to tell passengers not to show up at the airport. "Due to the check-in failure, people are advised to leave the airport. Incoming travelers by road and train will be stopped until further notice: no trains to Schiphol and access roads will be closed," the airport said on its Twitter page just before 5:30 a.m.

Access to the airport was reopened an hour later. The day was already expected to be peak travel day at the airport, with school vacations set to start on Monday and many tourists ready to call an end to the King's Day weekend.

The power outage also hit 38,000 homes in Amsterdam as well as street lighting in Amsterdam Zuidoost. Two high-voltage connection points failed near Bijlmer Zuid, grid operator Tennet said. That happened at about 12:42 a.m.

The two spots combine to deliver 38 megawatts of power. The cause of the failure was not known as of 6:30 a.m.