Together, we’re building Schiphol’s future
Wherever you look at Schiphol at the moment, there is building or renovation work going on. Why is this? Does all the work really need to be done at the same time? And when will it be finished? We would like to take you on a tour of all the construction locations around our airport, and tell you all about the most important projects.
Why are we doing it all?
Of course, there is a master plan behind all this building work. We want to improve our operations and to provide a better experience for customers, travellers and airlines. In order to do this, however, more capacity is required. The terminal has been operating at close to full capacity for years. There are not enough parking facilities and sometimes more aircraft stands are needed in order to allow aircraft to use a pier as soon as they arrive. To create the capacity that is needed, we are expanding our operational capacity on various fronts.
Construction work is going on at a large number of locations because we are currently working on many projects at the same time. However, a lot of thought has gone into deciding which projects can be carried out simultaneously. Of course, safety plays a key role in these decisions, as well as minimising the impact on visitors to the airport. After all, Schiphol needs to stay open 24/7, and all our operations must remain perfectly synchronised. That requires a lot of planning, some smart solutions and precise working methods.
Installation of a mezzanine in Departure Hall 1
‘What’s a mezzanine, exactly?’ It’s an additional floor space situated between two existing storeys. In Departure Hall 1, we are currently working hard to complete all the facilities in and around the new mezzanine. That’s why you’ll see quite a few hoardings for a while. We are installing new escalators and lifts, and we are also doing prep work for 21 new mezzanine security lanes. And the ultimate aim of all this? To enable travellers to check in faster and give them more space to shop and relax.
New pier under construction
Hundreds of passenger aircraft are allocated to a pier every day in order to get travellers and their luggage in and out of those aircraft as rapidly and as seamlessly as possible. We want to continue to do this as efficiently as possible in the future too. The new pier will help us do that, so we are delighted that such good progress is being made. It is an enormous construction involving three storeys, and the new pier will accommodate eight gates for aircraft of different sizes. The highest point was reached on 24 July, the first escalator has now been installed and we are currently installing the glass façade.
Preparations for the new terminal
The temporary departure hall will be dismantled at the end of 2020, so that our beautiful new terminal can rise up from the ground. It will be an architectural masterpiece, full of steel and plate glass, directly adjacent to the air traffic control tower and connected to the existing terminal. The building will embody the spirit of Schiphol: functional, transparent, spacious and fully focused on comfort for travellers.
Before construction can start, however, all kinds of preparatory work still needs to be done. One parking garage has already been demolished, many kilometres of pipes and cabling have been laid, we are redesigning a busy intersection and also widening an important access road. And for every square metre of space that we work on, we need to work with different partners. These partners include the airlines, companies with offices at Schiphol and travellers. It is up to us to take everyone's interests, preferences and requirements into account.
The world’s most sustainable airport
We aim to become one of the most sustainable hub airports in the world. This means that, wherever possible, we are employing circular methods, choosing innovative solutions and using sustainable materials. For example, we will be installing a large number of solar panels on the new pier and gate houses, and collecting rainwater for use in the toilets. We will also install heat-cold storage systems, so that we will no longer rely on burning gas.
The design of the new pier will include bamboo, which will be used in the furnishings, ceiling plates and floors. We will also be including a lot of plants. No plastic fake stuff, but the real deal. And to make sure that we include the right plants and trees, we have hired a special green consultant. Based on light levels, temperature and other factors, she has picked the best vegetation to create green walls, planters set into the reading and internet tables and on the two patio areas.