Schiphol agrees to invest EUR 90 million in Lelystad airport's growth plans
The state-owned Schiphol airport authority is prepared to put EUR 90 million into overhauling and expanding Lelystad airport, BNR radio reports on Tuesday.
The broadcaster has obtained a copy of the airport’s business plan which states the new-look Lelystad should reopen in 2018 as the country’s third biggest airport.
The airport should be able to eventually process 45,000 flights a year, the business plan states.
Leen Verbeek, the most senior government official in the province of Flevoland, told the broadcaster the report is the result of years of work.
‘Flevoland has the ambition to develop the airport for years,’ he said.
Ad Rutten, of Schiphol’s management board, is quoted as saying that growth should come from attracting new airlines to the Netherlands rather than shifting current services.
Charter airlines have already made it clear they do not want to move from Schiphol and Rutten admits this would be ‘legally difficult’.
‘It would be much easier to bring new markets to Lelystad than to move current services,’ he said.
The new airport will have a runway of 2,400 metres which would enable it to serve holiday traffic to the rest of Europe and Mediterranean Sea resorts.
However, aviation professor Hugo Roos told BNR the plan is risky. ‘Europe has airport overcapacity and that includes Lelystad and its surroundings,’ he said. ‘The market does not need this… don’t do it.’
There have been plans to expand Lelystad airport and move charter flights there for at least 10 years, all of which have stumbled on planning regulations.
In December 2011, the Supreme Court tore up government plans to expand Lelystad airport, saying the refusal to agree flight paths in advance was particularly problematic.
Towns around Lelystad and farming organisations had protested against the plans, saying they contravened airport legislation.