With the May school holiday period fast approaching, tour operators, airlines and unions are concerned about how Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport will handle the surge in passengers, the Telegraaf said on Thursday.
Last year, the period was hallmarked by seemingly endless queues and delays, which led to hundreds of passengers missing their flights. Some people reportedly had to queue for up to three hours to go through check-in and security procedures.
Schiphol’s COO Miriam Hoekstra now says sufficient measures have been taken to avoid the worst problems seen at the end of April in 2017.
‘We have pulled out all the stops to ensure smooth operations this summer. All security doors will be open at the busiest times and we are putting in extra staff to help passengers find their way,’ she said.
Passport control could still be a problem, however. The service is not operated by the airport authority itself but by the military police, and they not expected to be up to full strength until 2019, the Telegraaf said.
Schiphol has invested too little in its infrastructure in recent years while the number of travellers increased rapidly, the Telegraaf claims.
But a spate of projects are now underway: Departure Hall 1 is being renovated, the P3 parking area is being extended and additional entrances and exits to the underground train station are being added. In addition a new A pier is under construction.
Nevertheless, the unions are still concerned about staffing levels. ‘There are just too few people and the pressure of work is increasing,’ Leen van der List of the FNV Schiphol trade union told the paper.
In particular, the court order forcing Schiphol to transfer 2,700 unused winter slots to the summer will be a problem, Van der List said. ‘That means 500,000 extra passengers.’