How clever of transport minister Camiel Eurlings to suggest Amsterdam’s Schiphol shifts some four million passengers a year to the regional airport at Lelystad. It’s a crafty scheme.

Not only could Schiphol continue to grow, but it would also provide jobs for the thousands of unemployed in Lelystad.
If Eurlings has his way, those packed off to Lelystad would include charter and budget airline passengers plus, according to De Pers newspaper, European business travellers. Schiphol would then be left with those highly lucrative intercontinental flights – and all those transit passengers of course.
Lelystad city council are already rubbing their hands with glee. The four million passengers diverted to their town would create 3,000 jobs. And there are only three houses within the noise limit zone – so that won’t be a problem either.
What nobody ever seems to ask is why Schiphol has to grow so much anyway. If it simply stopped trying to attract transit passengers it wouldn’t have any capacity problems at all. What benefits do transit passengers bring? All they do is clog up the runways and pay a couple of euros for their baggage to be shifted to another plane.
Of course, Eurlings could always develop Lelystad as a special airport for transit passengers. Now that really would be a clever move.

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