News: Maintenance on Zwanenburgbaan complete, test flights on 13 and 20 May

As of 4 May, the Zwanenburgbaan Runway is available for air traffic again. Starting 2 January, the runway underwent a period of major maintenance and was therefore not in use. During this period of maintenance, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) renewed the landing system for planes landing from the south (ILS362). LVNL and Schiphol will be carrying out test flights to check that the new system is working as it should. These flights will take place on Saturday 13 May from 22:00 to 02:30, Monday 15 May from 22:00 to 22:15, and on Saturday 20 May from 22:00 to 01:40.

Published on: 4 May 2023

Test flights at quiet times

The test flights are taking place at times when there’s little air traffic so that usual air traffic can make as much use as possible from the Polderbaan and Kaagbaan runways. These are the runways that cause relatively fewer people to experience noise nuisance. When there’s wind coming from the north, the Buitenveldertbaan Runway can be deployed. This is because the test flights are occurring in the approach areas of the Zwanenburgbaan, Kaagbaan and Aalsmeerbaan runways. If the test flights cannot take place on the planned dates (if the weather’s bad, for example), then they will take place on 14, 16 and 21 May.

Test aircraft flies in pattern

If you live near Schiphol and hear an aircraft at the times mentioned, it could be the special test aircraft. This aircraft, a Cessna with registration number PH-LAB, will fly from different directions, altitudes and distances towards Runway 36C. In doing so, it follows different flight patterns compared to normal air traffic. This is to test the signal of the renewed landing systems from all positions.

Read more about the landing systems in this blog

Landing from the south with good visibility

As soon as the test flights have been carried out, there will be a period of time during which the Zwanenburgbaan Runway can only be used for landings from the south when visibility is good. According to international safety standards, the renewed ILS must first work reliably and stably for at least 30 days. This means that the Zwanenburgbaan cannot be deployed for landings from the south in all visibility conditions. If the Kaagbaan Runway is also unavailable, the Aalsmeerbaan Runway can be used when there’s a northerly wind and limited visibility. We expect that the Zwanenburgbaan Runway will be available again for landing in all visibility conditions from both a northerly and southerly direction.

Want to know more about the test flights and ILS? Visit