Schiphol pushes €3 billion into catching up on maintenance
Schiphol Airport is pushing 3 billion euros into catching up on maintenance and upgrades at the airport between 2024 and 2027. “After too much of a focus on costs and growth for many years, we must now play catch-up in order to offer employees, travelers, and airlines the necessary quality,” Schiphol CEO Ruud Sondag said in a statement.
According to the airport, many vital parts of the airport are due or overdue for maintenance and renewal, including the baggage basement, the climate control system, walkways, and aircraft taxiways.
“Quantity took precedence over quality, and that didn't do the assets at our airport any good,” Sondag said. “We are going to catch up on maintenance to improve, upgrade, and make the airport more sustainable. This is necessary and in everybody's interest at the airport. Good working conditions, reliability, sustainability, and safety are our starting points.”
The money will go toward renewing lounges 1 and 2 to solve bottlenecks by adjusting walkways and expanding parts of the lounges and the services they offer. The airport will renew over 200 walkways and lifts and replace 18 passenger bridges. The airport is also planning renovations to its baggage system and Piers A and C.
To improve working conditions for employees, Schiphiol will install lifting aids at every work location for baggage handling by April next year. It will renovate all rest areas and toilets for employees. And the airport is taking measures to reduce emissions and employees’ exposure thereto.
For sustainability, Schiphol is phasing out all fossil fuel-powered vehicles, from baggage tractors to shuttles, in the coming years. It is also switching to sustainable solutions for its climate control and working to get off the gas network.
“It's a big task, with works at the heart of the airport and a continuous operation,” Sondag said about the planned renovations. “Of course, we'll do everything we can to limit the risk of consequences for travelers and airlines, but some inconvenience cannot be ruled out.”