19 January 2023, by Victoria Séveno

Schiphol Airport has announced that it intends to lift the current cap on passenger numbers at the end of March as planned. From March 26, the maximum limit of 50.000 travellers per day will no longer apply.

Months of queues and chaos for travellers at Schiphol Airport

Last week, the Netherlands’ Trade Union Confederation (FNV) warned holidaymakers that 2023 would likely be another chaotic year for Schiphol. While the airport has taken steps to limit disruption to travel plans, over the past several months passengers have continued to face long queues and issues with lost or delayed luggage.

In September 2022, it was announced that a cap would be placed on the number of people travelling via Schiphol every day in order to limit the pressure placed on the airport and workers. The cap was due to remain in place until the end of March, although there was some hope that the situation could be reassessed in December so that passenger numbers could be increased from the end of January. 

The Netherlands’ biggest airport optimistic about the future

With February fast approaching, it’s clear that the cap won’t be lifted in time for the school holidays next month. However, Schiphol has said that successful recruitment efforts will mean the cap will be lifted on March 26, and will not have to be extended. 

“It’s progressing well,” a spokesperson told NOS. “Since November, the deficit [of workers] has halved… [and] the new staff and technological improvements in security will allow us to lift the restrictions.”

Schiphol can’t promise May school holidays will go smoothly

Currently, a maximum of 50.000 people fly out of Schiphol Airport every day. During the 2023 May school holidays, the airport expects this number to increase to 70.000. While this is good news for airlines and prospective holidaymakers, airport management has so far been unable to promise that the May holiday will go smoothly. 

Hundreds of jobs remain unfilled, and Schiphol is particularly worried about bottlenecks occurring between 6am and 11am, which could have knock-on effects on flights throughout the rest of the day. 

“We are not going to take any risks,” Schiphol chief Ruud Sondag told RTL Nieuws. “We are therefore now working together with our partners at the airport to tackle the last bottlenecks towards the May holiday and beyond.”

Thumb image credit: oliverdelahaye / Shutterstock.com.

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