The history and growth of Schiphol
Schiphol opened as a military airport in 1916. In the meantime, our national airport has grown to become a 'mainport' with more than 450,000 aircraft taking off and landing each year.
Growth is important to Schiphol. By growing we can continue competing with other airports. Growth also creates additional jobs for local residents and has a significant impact on the regional and national economy.
The runways at Schiphol
Schiphol has five runways. Six, in fact, if you count Runway 04-22 ('Schiphol-Oostbaan'), but this runway is primarily used for private aircraft. The five runways at Schiphol are called: Runway 09-27 ('Buitenveldertbaan'), Runway 06-24 ('Kaagbaan'), Runway 18L-36R ('Aalsmeerbaan'), Runway 18C-36C ('Zwanenburgbaan') and Runway 18R-36L ('Polderbaan').
Aircraft take off and land into the wind whenever possible. That explains why we have so many runways and why they are laid out in different wind directions. The noise of aircraft taking off and landing can be a problem for area residents. That is why we do not use all runways equally.
Nature aplenty at Schiphol
An incredible 225 species of plants grow and bloom at Schiphol. All of these plants took root at the airport in a natural way. You can even eat some of them!
Many animals make their home around the airport, too: no less than 70 species of bird as well as numerous species of insects and mammals. There are a lot of rodents, such as brown rats, hares, rabbits and moles, too. These animals must take care to hide themselves well: Schiphol is also home to numerous birds of prey and other predators at Schiphol.