Why do I always fly from 'de Polderbaan'?
Schiphol has six runways. Five are located near the terminal, but one – Runway 18R-36L or 'de Polderbaan' – is just a little bit further away. And that means a slightly longer taxiing time… Perhaps you feel that this always happens when you are on the aircraft. Coincidence?!
Sometimes, the use of this runway is indeed a coincidence. Runway 18R-36L is used relatively often, but certainly not always: last year, 24% of all aircraft started and 39% of all aircraft landed here. However, it goes without saying that the other four runways are also used on a regular basis. The runways used depend on the weather conditions, how busy traffic is at that moment and the agreements that have been reached with our neighbours.
All the same, you are most likely to land on or take off from Runway 18R-36L. That is because this runway, together with Runway 06-24 ('de Kaagbaan'), causes the least disturbance to our neighbours. So how does this work? Let's imagine that we have a day with good visibility and little wind. On these kinds of days, several runway combinations are possible. Runway 18R-36L and Runway 06-24 will be used most frequently in these cases.
How do I know which runway I will be flying from?
The runway used for landing or take-off is determined by Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL). Would you like to know beforehand whether you'll have a slight longer taxiing time? Then check their site shortly before your arrival or departure, as runways change on a regular basis.