Our regional airports: Eindhoven,
Lelystad and
Rotterdam The Hague

Passenger numbers

Eindhoven Airport: 6.2 million (+9.4%)
Rotterdam The Hague Airport: 1.9 million (+12.2%)

Direct destinations

Eindhoven Airport: 87
Rotterdam The Hague Airport: 43

Air transport movements

Eindhoven Airport: 38,642 (+6.0%)
Lelystad Airport: 103,355 (general and business aviation): (+22.7%)
Rotterdam The Hague Airport: 15,649 (+8.8%)

Eindhoven Airport

Exploring a path for future development

Air traffic demand at Eindhoven Airport increased further in 2018, driven partly by robust, 4.9% year-on-year growth in the economy of the Brainport region. Total passenger throughput surpassed 5 million in 2017, meaning that Eindhoven Airport joins Schiphol Airport in being subject to national aviation regulation governing airport charges. After a series of consultations, Eindhoven Airport has agreed on charges with relevant stakeholders for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.

With activity at the airport set to continue rising over the coming years, 2018 saw increased attention given to the airport's long-term growth strategy and what this means for the surrounding regions. In particular, the licence for the civilian joint use of Eindhoven Air Base will expire on 31 December 2019. A new permit is therefore required to continue to make civil aviation possible. Meanwhile, the airport is approaching the ceiling for the number of permitted aircraft movements, currently set at 43,000 movements per year. While Eindhoven Airport has put measures in place to delay reaching the limit, it remains likely to hit this ceiling by end-2020.

The questions surrounding Eindhoven's future development are linked to wider discussions around the long-term vision for aviation in the Netherlands and, in July 2018, it was announced that Eindhoven Airport will be used as a 'test case' that will help to set a sustainable future path for the Dutch aviation industry. The six-month trial, which is being led by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W), will explore innovative measures for the development of Eindhoven Airport in a healthy and sustainable way for the benefit of the region's economy as well as local communities and the environment. Results of the test case will be made available in April 2019 and will be used as input for the forthcoming Aviation White Paper ('Luchtvaartnota').

Aside from the question of managing overall aviation capacity, further consideration is being given to the accessibility of Eindhoven Airport, a discussion which will be central to the airport's development over the 2020-2030 period. Current suggestions include improving the airport's public transport connectivity by building a new NS railway station at Eindhoven-Noord on the existing Eindhoven-Den Bosch route. Discussions on this development are ongoing, and a decision is not expected in 2019.

Innovations and other developments

In 2018, Eindhoven Airport continued to feel the effects of the collapsed P1 multistorey parking in front of the airport terminal. The collapse, which occurred in May 2017, delayed a number of scheduled projects, including construction of the new airport boulevard. A report on the incident was published by the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) in October 2018 and will be evaluated closely over the coming months. In December, a settlement was reached with construction company, BAM, with regard to financial damages relating to the incident.

Rebuilding work has begun, with the P1 parking facility set to resume operations from October 2019. The main access area in front of the airport terminal was also restored during the course of 2018. A further physical enhancement to the airport came in the form of a new covered walkway that shelters passengers moving on foot between the aircraft and the terminal building. Additional covered walkways may be installed depending on the success of this first construction.

2018 also saw the creation of a new foundation, Stichting Leefbaarheid Luchthaven Eindhoven, which supports projects aimed at improving the lives of individuals living in the vicinity of the airport. Eindhoven Airport has so far committed 200,000 euros to the foundation, with a further 680,000 euros made available through State contributions as well as donations from North Brabant province and the municipality of Eindhoven. One of the first projects receiving funding is a measuring system for emissions of ultra-fine particles.

Eindhoven Airport once again achieved the highest possible accreditation level (CO2-neutral) within the Airport Carbon Accreditation benchmark provided by Airport Council International (ACI), a level it has held since 2012. For the sixth year in a row, Eindhoven Airport retained its 3+ status in the benchmark, despite the growth in the number of passengers and flights. One of the requirements of this status is that the airport's own activities are CO2neutral. Eindhoven Airport is committed to maintaining this status going forward.

Eindhoven Airport

Lelystad Airport

Ready to open in 2020

The 1 April 2019 deadline set for the opening of Lelystad Airport to passenger traffic has been further extended, with the airport now scheduled to become operational in 2020. The new launch date is contingent on approval being provided in the form of the amended Airport Decree. To this end, in 2018, a revised environmental impact assessment (EIA) for Lelystad Airport was put forward by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W). The updated EIA included an adjustment to the 'noise assessment', with the number of local residents impacted by aircraft noise found to be lower than initially thought. Based on these assessments, the number of annual air transport movements at Lelystad has been capped at 45,000. The Airport Decree was adopted by the Council of Ministers at the end of 2018; it must now undergo a public opinion procedure to allow it to come into effect in September/October 2019.

2018 saw Lelystad Airport make significant progress in preparing the airport for commercial aviation activity. In March, a project to widen and lengthen the airport runway was completed, and the airport's control tower was raised to its new height of 22 metres in July, having previously stood at 9 metres. The outer structure of the new passenger terminal was finalised in September 2018, along with accompanying public parking facilities and new access roads. The interior of the terminal building can now be developed during the course of 2019 with a view to welcoming passengers in 2020.

Development of the Lelystad Airport terminal and other works are being undertaken using sustainable, circular methods, aligning with the wider Schiphol Group's long-term sustainability aims. In particular, the runway expansion project has been undertaken using non-invasive, trenchless construction methods, preventing an estimated 10,000 lorry journeys and resulting in a CO2-emissions saving of 500 tonnes. The new terminal will also include sustainable temperature-control systems and low-energy lighting, as well as an automated, energy-efficient baggage-handling system known as FLEET. Once finished, the building will be eligible for 'Gold' category LEED certification, becoming the first airport in Europe to receive this leading sustainability accreditation. Lelystad Airport is also a climate-neutral operation.

Lelystad Airport

Work is also taking place to improve access to the airport, with Flevoland Province overseeing a project to broaden the A6 Almere-Lelystad motorway. An additional junction is also being planned to connect the road to the airport as well as a future business park being built in the vicinity. A tendering process is also in place to create a fast bus connection between Lelystad Centrum train station and the airport.

Innovations and other developments

Lelystad Airport aims to play a central role in driving employment in Flevoland Province, which has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the Netherlands. To this end, the tendering process for the terminal renovation and other projects will give preference to local companies and employees located within a 30-kilometre radius of the airport site. The structural employment benefit of the airport during the current construction phase will be equivalent to about 60 full-time jobs, rising to around 100 full-time positions each year over the next 10-15 years once Lelystad Airport is operational. This will include some 300 part-time positions in areas such as construction, maintenance of the airport buildings and grounds, as well as day-to-day aviation processes.

Further to this, the airport has made a commitment to helping people with limited opportunities in the labour market in collaboration with the Werkbedrijf Lelystad programme. Lelystad has also partnered with Stichting Campus Amsterdam Lelystad Airport (SCALA) and the regional training centre, ROC van Amsterdam, to jointly promote and provide training initiatives and work placements. In 2018, the first 120 students began training in airport facility management and travel and hospitality management.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport

Terminal renovation begins

In January 2018, renovation work began on the passenger terminal at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. The project aims to resolve three major bottlenecks in the airport's chain of processes: (1) congestion in the security passage, (2) inefficient processing of outgoing hold baggage, and (3) passenger congestion within the gate area behind the security check. More generally, the terminal building will be enlarged by more than 10 metres to allow for a smoother passenger flow. The aesthetics of the building will also be improved, with a view to creating a brighter and more welcoming atmosphere. The new design takes sustainability into account, with the moss sedum layer set to be added to the roof to improve insulation.

The first piles for the new terminal building went into the ground in September 2018, and Rotterdam The Hague Airport has begun making further modifications to the security filter in time for the May 2019 holiday. Unfortunately, the scheduled December 2018 completion date for the project has not been met. The overrun is due to the discovery of asbestos in the terminal, which must first be remediated, as well as other setbacks in the construction process.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport notes that the delay has had a disruptive impact on day-to-day terminal operations, which has in turn affected the overall customer experience (the airport's Net Promoter Score (NPS) fell accordingly in mid-2018). By expanding our 'Certified Smile' hospitality training programme for frontline airport employees, the airport is taking steps to improve key aspects of our customer service. The programme, which is delivered through Hotelschool The Hague, will provide Rotterdam The Hague Airport and aviation partner employees with additional skills to help maintain the best possible experience for airport passengers during the renovation project. Areas of focus will include delivering up-to-date information to travellers and managing special situations in the departure hall.

Innovations and other developments

In 2018, Rotterdam The Hague Airport laid strong foundations for our two core 2019 sustainability objectives: (1) 45% energy self-sufficiency, and (2) a 45% use of environmentally friendly transport modes within the airport's overall transport mix (the airport already operates on a climate-neutral basis). Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the terminal building as well as the arrivals hall and baggage-handling building, with a view to the airport achieving 22% energy self-sufficiency by the year's end. July 2018 also saw the first electrical Ground Power Unit (GPU) put into use at the airport.

Plans were also announced for a feasibility study for a synthetic kerosene pilot plant on the airport site. The product, which has the potential to be a sustainable alternative to fossil kerosene, will be made using CO2 extracted from the air via a process known as direct air capture. This is a process by which carbon atomes are directly substracted from the air. Another key component, hydrogen, will be recovered through electrolysis, while the plant itself will be powered using solar energy generated by panels located at Rotterdam The Hague Airport. The plant, which is hoped to come online in 2021. Partners in this project are the municipality of Rotterdam, the province of South-Holland, and other parties.

In November 2018, Rotterdam The Hague Airport began trialling a new automated baggage-handling system named FLEET. The system, which has been designed by VanderLande, is a flexible and sustainable solution that uses autonomous vehicle technology to create a faster and more efficient baggage-handling process. Among its many benefits, FLEET adds value by eliminating the need for fixed sorting systems, while the system consumes 50% less energy than traditional baggage-handling systems. November also saw the launch of the new Rotterdam The Hague Airport app. The rebooted platform offers travellers a fresh, user-friendly design as well as a range of enhanced features, including real-time arrival and departure information.

Rotterdam The Hague Airport

Going forward, our sustainability and wider innovation efforts will be driven in large part by the Rotterdam The Hague Innovation Airport (RHIA) initiative, which was officially launched in March 2018. The campaign, developed in partnership with the municipalities of Rotterdam and The Hague, as well as knowledge institutions and private-sector partners, aims to promote sustainable innovation and digital advancement within aviation. RHIA will also involve the airport working with local communities to encourage skill development and entrepreneurship.

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