Development of Lelystad key to growth of Schiphol

The economic development of Mainport Schiphol is of vital importance to the Netherlands. In order to accommodate selective growth at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Lelystad Airport is required to undergo a phased development. This has been set out in the business plan for Lelystad Airport as drawn up by Schiphol Group in implementation of the agreements made in the ‘Alders Platforms’ on Schiphol (2008) and Lelystad (2012). Following on from these agreements and the predicted growth of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the revamped Lelystad Airport should be ready to open in 2018. Lelystad Airport will thereafter be developed in moderated and phased.

To sustain and strengthen Schiphol's economic function, it has been agreed to pursue a selective development. Schiphol put forward a proposal to develop Lelystad Airport following the Alders Agreement in 2008. It has been agreed with the airlines, local residents, Air Traffic Control, government authorities and Schiphol that Lelystad Airport (like Eindhoven Airport) will support the growth of Schiphol as an alternative for non-Mainport related air traffic. Regional capacity must be available if Schiphol reaches 90% of the set 510,000 air transport movements (referred to as the indicative level). In 2012 the Dutch government reaffirmed these agreements as set out in its 2009 Aviation Policy White Paper.

Lelystad Airport will accommodate flights to European cities and regions, with focus on tourist destinations. 'The development of Lelystad Airport is important for the growth of Mainport Schiphol. This investment will enable Schiphol to remain a competitive international Mainport in a competitive region', commented Jos Nijhuis, Schiphol Group's CEO.

Travellers interested in Lelystad

Market research shows that consumers are sufficiently interested in taking holiday flights from Lelystad Airport, provided that the air fares are competitive and the destinations offered are comparable to those of other regional airports. By providing financial incentives and excellent facilities coupled with low airport charges, Schiphol Group anticipates that Lelystad Airport will provide an attractive alternative for airlines. In the perspective of the growth of aviation and investments in aircraft, Schiphol Group expects that airlines will have sufficient interest in the development of Lelystad Airport.

Lelystad Airport development dovetails with Schiphol growth

Development plans for Lelystad Airport entail building the required infrastructure and facilities in phases. These phases are shown in the table below, which assumes a basic growth scenario.


Traffic volume market forecast

Required facilities


(2013 price level)


Opening, start-up phase

Construction of runway and taxiways, the apron, air traffic control systems, a terminal and parking facilities

EUR 58 million


10,000 air transport movements and 1.5 million passengers a year

Expansion of taxiways, the apron, terminal and parking facilities

EUR 12 million


25,000 air transport movements and 3.7 million passengers a year

Expansion of taxiways, the apron, terminal and parking facilities

EUR 20 million


Growth to 45,000 air transport movements and 6.7 million passengers a year



Air transport movements and passenger volume are predicted to grow moderately during the start-up phase until 2023. This is in line with the current level of market interest, minimises the risk of a possible negative impact on the Mainport, incorporates an adaptation period for Air traffic Control and the airport processes and provides businesses currently located at Lelystad Airport with room to adjust their business operations accordingly. Market developments may bring about faster or slower growth and investments in Lelystad Airport may need to be made sooner or later, as the case may be.

Schiphol Group expects to achieve viable airport operations from 2028 (with around 16,000 air transport movements and 2.4 million passengers annually). The investments and start-up losses are expected to be recouped by 2035 based on normal payback periods for capital-intensive investments in airport and other infrastructure projects. If air traffic volume at Lelystad Airport grows faster than forecasted, this means that viable operations will self-evidently be achieved earlier with a shorter payback period.

Alders Platform agreements

In 2008, local residents, local, regional and national authorities and the aviation sector made agreements on the growth of mainport Schiphol. The parties agreed that annual air transport movements at Schiphol may grow to 510,000 until 2020. It was additionally agreed to deploy the regional airports in Eindhoven and Lelystad to accommodate 70,000 air transport movements annually to enable Schiphol to strengthen its function as Mainport for the Netherlands by allowing it to specialise in hub and Mainport-related air traffic. The regional airports will provide an alternative for air traffic not necessarily related to Mainport Schiphol.


Schiphol Group has submitted its business plan to the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and applied for an Airport Decree. The Airport Decree is required to undertake the intended development and operation of Lelystad Airport and is expected to be issued in November 2014. The Dutch Parliament will discuss the development of Lelystad Airport prior to decision-making.