Schiphol expansion should focus on safety not numbers, says Dutch safety board


The safety of air passengers and air crew is not taken into account sufficiently in ongoing discussions about the expansion of Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, the Dutch Safety Board said on Wednesday.

Last year the board published a report which concluded Schiphol should only be allowed to expand when there had been a structural reduction in safety risks. The government’s response to that report prompted today’s statement.

Both the airport authority and the minister have used the report to stress that Schiphol is safe, the board said. ‘In so doing, they are bypassing the conclusion which states that there are limits to safe operations and Schiphol is fast approaching those limits.’

‘This one-sided emphasis on a “safe” Schiphol does not do justice to the board’s concerns about safety,’ the board said.

The Schiphol debate, the board said, is focusing on the 500,000 aircraft movement limit. However, this does not take into account the 20,000 non-commercial flights at Schiphol which also have an impact on safety standards.

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