Interview Laura Mayoral: Happy with the Departures

Everyone has their own wish list when it comes to the refurbishment of Departures and Lounge 1. But what Amsterdam Airport Schiphol wants does not always correspond with what the airlines want. Or with what colleagues in operations want. Laura Mayoral, developer at Schiphol Asset Management (ASM), is committed to keeping all the stakeholders happy. “Not everyone’s wishes are feasible but with a little creativity we can make a lot of people happy.”

Balancing wishes and possibilities

What is feasible? What is not? These are the questions central to the contact between Laura and her colleagues on a daily basis. “As developers, we have our hands full with these issues. The refurbishment of Departures & Lounge 1 is not a new construction project like the new pier or the temporary Departures It’s a renovation of an existing location – and a busy one, too. As a result, we are continuously seeking a balance between what people want and what is possible.”

The show must go on

The improved Departures has a very important part to play in accommodating the growing number of passengers until the new terminal is ready. But for Schiphol, existing operations are much more important. “We want to minimise the disruption for passengers and airlines,” Laura explains. “The show must go on. Meanwhile, the renovation must go on too, and as quickly as possible.”

Questions galore

So far, so good. The various work package developers and teams are bang on target. “We are working to a very tight schedule,” says Laura. "And we try to stick to it as closely as we can.” Admittedly, that is not always the easiest of tasks. “For example, a new contractor recently joined the project and came up with all kinds of bright ideas for carrying out the same work with less disturbance. That was music to our ears, but it did mean we had to alter the timetable. What do you do in cases like that? That’s the kind of thing we keep running into.”

Giant project, giant security filter

While our colleagues at PLuS – Schiphol’s project bureau – mainly focus on planning and budgets, ASM is responsible for quality. “Together we ensure that, when the renovated terminal is ready, it will meet the wishes of as many stakeholders as possible. It will have better catering and retail facilities, and more space for travellers, check-in and security. On that last point, Laura has no worries whatsoever. “A pedestrian bridge will link the security filter on the new mezzanine floor in Departures 1 to the existing mezzanine in Departures 2. That will give us more leeway to accommodate peaks of travellers. And we will have the third largest security filter in the world. I am incredibly proud to be a part of this amazingly complex project.”