Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has expanded to become one of Europe’s main civil aviation hubs. It is a complex airport, both in terms of its infrastructure  and in terms of how air traffic is handled. This complexity entails certain risks for air traffic. Schiphol is approaching the limits of its ability to handle air traffic safely within the current operational system. The investigation found no evidence to suggest that safety at Schiphol is inadequate. However, the investigation did reveal a number of safety risks that need to be tackled.  The Dutch Safety Board notes that further growth of Schiphol will require more than marginal adjustments to the existing policy. This calls for a fundamental debate on the future of aviation in the Netherlands and on the options and limitations regarding Schiphol’s further growth. The Dutch State has final responsibility for the integral safety of air traffic at and around the airport.

Publication research

Publication

In recent decades, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has expanded to become one of Europe’s main civil aviation hubs. The airport is sandwiched between densely populated urban areas, so trade-offs must continually be made between growth and the consequences thereof for the surrounding area. Safety needs to have a prominent place in these trade-offs, as the effects and impacts of civil aviation accidents can be substantial.

Following a series of incidents (some of which occurred more than once), the Dutch Safety Board carried out an investigation to identify any vulnerabilities in the safety system around Schiphol. The investigation found no evidence to suggest that safety at Schiphol is inadequate. However, the investigation did reveal a number of safety risks that need to be tackled integrally and systematically in order to guarantee safety both now and in the future.

Recommendations

The Dutch Safety Board's recommendations are as follows:

Mitigation of safety risks

To Schiphol Group and Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL):

  • 1. Develop a new, future-proof operational concept for handling air traffic at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol that will mitigate current and future safety risks.
  • 2. Mitigate current and future safety risks by implementing measures.
  • 3. Carry out in advance an integral investigation of the impact of an air traffic increase on safety, and take measures to systematically manage this impact.

Cooperating on safety

To Schiphol Group, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) and airlines in the Schiphol Safety Platform (VpS):
  • 4. Draw up a shared vision on safety at Schiphol, specifically including details of the safety targets to be achieved, together with the corresponding deadlines.
  • 5. Set up an Integrated Safety Management System (IVMS) to which all of the parties in the VpS are committed.
  • 6. See to it that the Schiphol Safety Platform is given a formal status and the authority to enforce operational and strategic decisions on safety at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Final responsibility

To the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment:

  • 7. Further flesh out the role of the party with final responsibility for the safety of air traffic at and around Schiphol.

 

 

Media

Investigation into air traffic safety at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Imagery

Updates

  • Press

    Principiële discussie toekomst Schiphol onvermijdelijk

  • Press

    Grenzen in zicht veilige afhandeling vliegverkeer Schiphol

  • News

    Investigation into air traffic safety at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Investigation data

Theme Aviation

Start date research

Publication date report

Status Completed

Phase Publication