Passenger movements at Schiphol

Posted: 31 July 2007 | Joep Lievers, Director of Infrastructure, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport | No comments yet

Richard Piper spoke to Joep Lievers, Director of Infrastructure, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, regarding the flow of passengers through the terminal building.

Richard Piper spoke to Joep Lievers, Director of Infrastructure, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, regarding the flow of passengers through the terminal building.

Schiphol handles over 46 million passengers per year. How do you try to ensure that they flow smoothly through the airport?

We try to get them to flow smoothly through the Airport with an integrated system of people and equipment. We do this via helpdesks in the building and the use of floor-managers, who constantly monitor where bottlenecks exist or might start. In summer peaks we have the assistance of our own personnel who are referred to as “canaries,” so called as these staff members wear yellow jerseys. They are easily identifiable and are there to help passengers with queries.

What new systems have you purchased recently?

Recently we have introduced a new design of moving walkway, which is easy to install in existing area’s and easily replaceable as it is light and can be operated without the need for mechanical rooms or shafts. Due to this new system we think we can introduce even more walkways where, until now, construction was not possible. These new walkways shorten dwelling times considerably.

With plans for a seventh runway, are you looking to expand the terminal building also?

Recently our plans were released in the press for our 7th runway. This was always in the overall master plan. As to when this runway is needed, this will depend on the expansion. With our existing building setup we can expand until we reach 65 million passengers. After that we cannot guarantee that the one building concept will be sufficient and may have to look at another terminal building.

Do you think Schiphol benefits from having one terminal as opposed to multiple buildings?

We do have a one terminal concept and will try to maintain this as long as it is still convenient for our transfer passengers. We know that they like the convenience of having everything under one roof and the possibility of quick transfer times.

It is easier to move through the premises and shop as opposed to transferring to another building.

With regards to streamlining passenger movement through the airport, how many walkways, travelators, lifts, escalators and elderly/disabled passenger terminal vehicles do you have?

In addition to our staff we have lots of transport available, this includes 180 elevators, 80 escalators, 60 moving walkways and 16 elevated walkways. For elderly and disabled people we have many electric carts available to transport these passengers to the correct gate.

How is passenger movement equipment planned in when designing/expanding a terminal?

During the design process we check the flow and introduce the various solutions together with our designers and flow experts. We are always looking for ways to shorten the length of time it takes to get from one gate to another and also at ways to shorten the time taken to get to or from entrance points. The principle is to use mechanical means wherever there are walking spells without attractions.

What future plans are being put in place to ensure the streamlining of passenger movement throughout Amsterdam Schiphol Airport?

For future developments we work closely with our specialists, architects and vendors on better moving products, methods of increasing speeds and methods which are more convenient for our passengers. Also, quicker systems to get to passport control and security are constantly evaluated and new designs and innovations checked.

Joep Lievers

Joep Lievers has been involved with Schiphol airport since 1986 building masterplan projects. From 1997-2002 he was Project Director at JFK terminal 4, overseeing a 1.4 billion dollar redevelopment. He is now Director of Infrastructure at Schiphol, responsible for new developments, maintenance of new and existing infrastructure, buildings, aprons, runways, roadways and utilities.

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