How was the Aalsmeerbaan Runway prepared for use again?


It was a tense moment. Monday the 22nd of June. In what kind of state would the Aalsmeerbaan Runway be after the planes, which had been parked there for 3 months, were removed? Would there be a lot of damage? If so, that would be rather inconvenient. Starting from the 6th of July, we needed the runway again for take-off and landing.

A very hard task
We managed. The Aalsmeerbaan Runway is operational again. But it wasn’t an easy task. It certainly wasn’t a case of just removing the planes and getting back to business. A lot more had to be done in order to safely use the Aalsmeerbaan Runway again. For a period of 2 weeks, a lot of people worked extremely hard 24/7.

Check, monitor, clean and repair
First of all, the planes were relocated. After that, the slabs used to protect the asphalt surface of the Aalsmeerbaan Runway were removed. Luckily, they had done their job well. The damage to the asphalt wasn’t so bad. Next, the actual runway and all systems connected to it were thoroughly checked, monitored and cleaned. Repairs were donee too.

Tight schedule and elbow grease
How did we manage to do all of that in 2 weeks? With a tight schedule and a lot of help. KLM, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands and construction company Heijmans all worked extremely hard alongside Schiphol.

Increasing air traffic at peak times
The Aalsmeerbaan Runway needs to be used because air traffic is starting to increase again, including at peak times. Airlines want to take off from and land at Schiphol at specific times. At these peak times, one runway for take-off and one for landing just isn’t enough. We need to use a second runway – which can be the Aalsmeerbaan Runway – in order to ensure sufficient capacity in all weather conditions. lOtherwise, there will be delays.

Minimising disturbance as much possible
Will the runway be used frequently? Runway usage is in accordance with the agreements that have been made with those in the surrounding area. Preferably, we use the Polderbaan Runway and Kaagbaan Runway. In doing so, we keep noise disturbance in our surroundings to a minimum. The Aalsmeerbaan Runway is only deployed if it’s busy during peak times, or if the weather conditions or maintenance work mean that other runways cannot be used.

Parking space for planes still needed
The Aalsmeerbaan Runway is no longer a parking space. You do, however, still see many parked planes at Schiphol. Peak times = extra runway. Sounds like old times. But at the moment, peak times are from around 7 to 10 in the morning, and from 1 to 2 in the afternoon. After that, you’ll see a lot of parked planes again. Just not on the Aalsmeerbaan Runway.