Groningen Airport Eelde eager to take over some Schiphol flights
While busy Dutch airports like Schiphol, Eindhoven and Rotterdam are bursting at the seams, Groningen Airport Eelde can easily still handle thousands of more flights, according to Groningen Airport Eelde. The airport is therefore calling for a better and fairer distribution of air traffic in the country, NU.nl reports.
According to the airport, 1.7 million people live in the north of the Netherlands who annually account for 2.7 million passenger movements. Every day, five thousand people travel from the north to Schiphol to catch a flight.
Groningen Airport Eelde can handle 7,500 additional flight movements without any adjustments to the airspace or current airport agreements, the airport said. That is 75 percent of the maximum number of flights that will be allowed to Lelystad Airport, which is set to take over some holiday traffic from Schiphol once it opens. Why not let Groningen Airport Eelde help reduce the burden on the crowded Schiphol, the airport wants to know.
The Groningen airport hopes that the politicians in The Hague will first look at the current possibilities before pushing through with expanding Lelystad airport. A better distribution of air traffic will also have other advantages, like reducing the pressure on the road network around the Randstad, according to the airport.
Marco van de Kreeke, director of Groningen Airport Eelde, previously told RTV Drenthe that politicians in The Hague are unfairly only focuses on the airports that form part of the Schiphol Group - Schiphol, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Lelystad. Maastricht Aachen Airport and Groningen Airport Eelde are excluded, he said. While these two airports can ensure that there is more room at Schiphol. He wants air traffic in the Netherlands to be viewed as a whole, instead of per airport.
In September last year Hans Alders, who is leading the talks between Schiphol and Lelystad Airport, dismissed Van de Kreeke's proposal. The possible role of Groningen Airport Eelde and Maastricht Aachen Airport was investigated several times, he said, according to RTV Drenthe. According to Alders, Groningen Airport Eelde can not be an overflow airport, and Lelystad Airport is the only possible destination for holiday traffic.
"Eelde and Maastricht have to leave the market. They will never be able to exist independently either", Alders said in September, according to the broadcaster. "At Eelde it has to do with the distribution of the population as it is in the Netherlands. An that is not a nice statement for someone who lives in Groingen."