Huge increase in travellers through Dutch airports

In 2013 more than 58 million passengers travelled through Dutch airports. That’s an increase of over 20 per cent in four years, according to Dutch statistics agency CBS. In 2009, there were 46 million.

Last year, main Dutch airport Amsterdam Schiphol also set a new record for passenger numbers.

This sharp rise in travellers has also meant a growth in airport sales. In the last quarter of 2013, sales were more than five per cent higher than the same period a year earlier.

Revenue through sales in airports in the Netherlands is, however, highly seasonal: sales are the lowest in the first quarter of the year, during winter.

Traditionally turnover peaks in the third quarter, thanks to the summer holidays. The difference in passenger numbers between winter and summer is usually around 40 million.

Dutch airport revenue

Sales do not account for the majority of an airport’s revenue, however. Nearly half of the 1,6 billion euros that the industry turned over in 2013 is related to take-off and landing fees.

As well as general operation and passengers and baggage handling, airports also earn income from guiding air traffic, parking fees and hiring out corporate and retail spaces.

Schiphol investing in green solutions

The Netherlands’ main airport Schiphol is investing some of its revenue in environmental programmes that have earned it international recognition in the form of an Airport Carbon Accreditation.

Schiphol's Airport Carbon Accreditation is the highest possible (3+). To earn this, an airport must analyse all its emissions, draw up effective reduction programmes, successfully implement them and compensate for any remaining emissions.

Schiphol’s programme for reducing CO2 emissions includes using biodiesel, reducing commuting by employees by encouraging working from home and promoting electric transport.

Electric taxis & buses

From late 2014, passengers at Schiphol will also be able to use one of around 100 fully electric taxis, while electric buses will ferry passengers to and from airplanes.

To further conserve energy, the terminal and car parks have been fitted with LED lights. The airport is also experimenting with using LED lights where airplanes are parked, including smart operation, where lights are only switched on when needed.

Sources: CBS, Schiphol

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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