Defense refused to help manage crowds at Schiphol, CEO says
Schiphol asked Defense for help with crowds at the airport in the past day, Schiphol CEO Dick Benschop said. "The answer was no. I want to leave it at that," Benschop said.
Due to significant staff shortages in security and baggage handling, among others, travelers have faced very long lies at Schiphol recently. There have even been disturbances between security guards and passengers, in which the Koninklijke Marechaussee had to intervene. The Marechaussee is a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for airport security. Defense could help with security. According to Benschop, they have made contact with the Ministry of Defense to discuss the possibilities, but it was in vain.
Benschop does not intend to resign because of the chaos at the airport. "I am not thinking about resigning. I am particularly motivated to solve everything," he said in an interview with ANP.
On Thursday, Schiphol announced an action plan to prevent crowds and long queues during the summer period. The airport wants to recruit more security personnel, make employment conditions more attractive, and improve the flow of travelers in the terminal by using coaches to help people through security more quickly and enhance information provision.
According to Benschop, the airport is also making agreements with airlines about reducing the number of flights and moving flights to Rotterdam and other regional airports. According to the CEO, this must happen voluntarily, but if that fails, Schiphol may be obliged to cancel flights. Benschop acknowledged that this requires a lot of discussion with companies.
Reporting by ANP