Interview Kim Flinterman: Making space for new terminal

If you want to build a new terminal in the middle of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, everything has to make way – from hamburger stall to aircraft parking area. “The biggest challenge is time,” says project manager Kim Flinterman. “The moment I give the go-ahead, work on the new terminal can begin.”

Kim Flinterman and her team are handling no fewer than 17 projects – and the number is rising. The official term for these is ‘Early & Enabling Works’, those needed to make the construction of the new terminal possible.

From her ‘control tower’ Kim keeps a close eye on project progress, plans and costs. “I’m the one with the red dot on my forehead. If the work isn’t completed on time, or if there are conflicts or serious budget overruns, I’m responsible.”

Tribune Burger Bar

Early & Enabling Works will begin after the summer. The projects must ensure that the building site for the new terminal is ‘function-free’; this will involve demolition, dismantling, conversions and relocations, and the repositioning of cables, roads, shops and routes.

It’s a complex job. One building cannot be demolished while another is still being finished, for instance; and Schiphol has active contracts with all the retailers in the B-pier, including the famous Tribune Burger Bar – according to Kim, “the best-selling hamburger bar in the country.”

Kim explains: “The old location will be demolished, but not before a new one has been built.” Obviously, entrepreneurs cannot be told to just sit on their hands for weeks. Kim has countless problems like this to solve, and she does so together with a team of project managers from Arcadis-Mace, the company directing the works.