New Schiphol terminal to take years longer than expected: report

Schiphol Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport. Jul 16, 2015Photo: Boarding2Now/DepositPhotos

A new terminal at Schiphol airport that was planned to open in 2023, will only open in 2026 at the earliest, the Telegraaf reports based on an information document for contractors who want to tender for the project. The construction of this third terminal, which is meant to help Schiphol better handle the ever increasing number of passengers, involves billions of euros, according to the newspaper.

The information document contains a schedule in which the terminal will be delivered in the fall of 2025. It is then customary to reserve weeks or months to test the systems, before the terminal can be taken into use, according to the newspaper. This means that the terminal will likely only be operational in 2026. 

Schiphol would not comment to the newspaper about the delay. "In 2020 we will complete the tender for the construction of the new terminal. After that we will consider the new planning", a spokesperson said. 

KLM told the newspaper that it does not know about the delay. "We have not heard anything other than 2023 so far", a spokesperson said.

The new terminal was originally intended to open by 2018, but that was postponed years ago. Various other construction projects at the airport are also running behind. A new pier, with eight new gates, was scheduled to open this year, but has been delayed to next year. There is also still no clarity about the enlargement of the overcrowded NS train station at the airport. The roads around the airport also need to be expanded to keep Schiphol accessible. 

Schiphol is limited to 500 thousand flight movements per year until 2020 - a limit the airport has been scraping up against for years. Despite this, the number of passengers traveling through the airport is expected to grow by 2 percent to around 73 million this year. After 2021, the airport will be allowed limited growth. Exactly how many extra takeoffs and landings this will entail, is not yet clear.