‘Schiphol should realise it is an airport, not a shopping centre’

Schiphol airport should sacrifice some of its retail space to reduce overcrowding for passengers, KLM boss Pieter Elbers said in an interview with the Telegraaf on Wednesday.

‘Schiphol should realise it is an airport, not a shopping centre with a couple of runways,’ Elbers is quoted as saying.

Despite efforts by the airport authority to speed up security and immigration checks, passengers still face long waiting lists and this will get worse in the summer, the KLM director told the paper.

‘We are waiting on tenterhooks,’ he said. ‘The problem has not been solved structurally’. The long waiting lists – some people were stuck in queues for three hours during the May school holidays – are damaging to the Netherlands’ reputation abroad, he is quoted as saying.

In particular, Elbers said he wanted to see an increase in the number of military police officers who carry out passport checks. However, this is unlikely to happen in the short term, the paper said.

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