A terminal with seven piers, six runways and more than 70 million passengers in 2019: Schiphol is a large and busy airport. As you can imagine, keeping everything running smoothly and working optimally – from runways and baggage systems to green spaces and toilets – is a complex task. In this blog, you gain an insight into just some of Schiphol’s many assets. Ever wondered just how many aircraft stands there are at Schiphol? Or perhaps how many kilometres of cables, pipes and conveyor belts we have? Keep on reading to find out.
Terminal & Facilities
When flying from Schiphol, you enter Plaza, go upstairs to the check-in desks, pass through security, get your passport checked, enter the lounge area and then go to your gate. By the time you board your plane, you might have covered quite a distance! The Schiphol terminal has a floor surface area of around 1.3 million square metres. That’s more than 182 football fields! And it’s a huge area to heat up in the winter and cool in the summer. Fortunately, most of the terminal has thermal energy storage (TES). This means significant gains in reducing our CO2 emissions as we use a lot less gas. And on that subject, did you know that we have around 1200 toilets for travellers in the Schiphol terminal? That’s a lot of cleaning! Our hardworking cleaners also have 385,000 m2 of floor and almost 300,000 m2 of windows to keep spick and span.
Schiphol handles more than 50 million items of baggage each year, with almost 40% belonging to transfer passengers. But what happens to all that baggage? Under the terminal is an extensive baggage system measuring around 53km – about the same distance between Schiphol and Rotterdam The Hague Airport! There are four underground areas where baggage is handled, all connected by a transport system so that suitcases and bags can be taken from one area to another. A lot of the work underground is done by innovative machinery and robots, but some things require a human touch – there are some 2,000 employees working in baggage handling at Schiphol.
And there’s a lot more underneath the airport than baggage basements. An extensive network of cables and pipes ensures that Schiphol is supplied with electricity, gas and water, and that waste water is transported away. In total, there are around 100 km of water pipes, 50 km of gas pipes, 300 km of cables and 70 km of sewage pipes. Schiphol aims to be energy neutral by 2030 and energy positive by 2050. Infrastructure is at the forefront of this energy transition. We are phasing out natural gas and using thermal energy storage to heat our buildings instead and we are installing lots of solar panels throughout the airport site.
Schiphol covers an area of 27,870,000 m2. To put it in perspective, that’s nearly fourteen times the size of Monaco! A significant proportion of this area is on airside. Schiphol has 6 runways and various taxiways, numerous roads where cars and buses drive around, and 245 aircraft stands where planes can park. That means a lot of asphalt – the equivalent of around 573 Olympic-size swimming pools to be precise. But we also have a lot of green spaces. If you thought mowing your lawn was a chore, try doing it over an area the size of 2000 football pitches! All those grass cuttings are pretty useful though – we use them to make sustainable fibre panels that can be used in construction. We also recycle up to 60% of asphalt on site when carrying out maintenance on the roads, taxiways and runways. Schiphol is well on its way to becoming a waste-free airport in 2030!
Read the previous blogs
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