The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has published its annual report ‘The State of Schiphol’. According to ILT, Schiphol is and will remain a safe airport.
The report shows the state of safety and sustainability at and around the airport, according to ILT. The report describes the year of use 2021, from November 1 2021 through 14 October 2021. The year 2021 that was all about recovery after COVID with more flight movements and more passengers.
Flight safety and a good and safe working environment are top priorities at Schiphol. That is why we consider this an important report.
A wide range of topics are covered in the report, which paints a positive picture overall. In many areas – noise, emissions, in-house safety management – the ILT has established that Schiphol meets the standards. In 2021 at all 31 enforcement points around Schiphol, the noise level remained within the legal standards. As in previous years, the limit values set in the Schiphol Airport Traffic Decree (LVB) for the emission of air pollutants from aircraft were not exceeded in the operating year 2021. This year, the ILT once again established that safety management at the individual aviation companies at Schiphol is generally in order. Risks related to important matters such as flight operations, aircraft maintenance and air traffic control are well managed. There have been no airborne accidents at Schiphol in 2022. Schiphol still has to do more in other areas. A great deal has already been set in motion in these areas, but the pace must be increased, Schiphol agrees with the ILT on this. This includes tackling staff shortages, implementing safety measures and compliance with the rules by ground handlers.
Schiphol suffered from 2022 with major staff shortages, the ILT notes. Schiphol and its partners are working hard to solve this. For example, since last year the working conditions for the security guards have improved, central recruitment has started and the rosters and rest areas for employees have been improved. The social package ensures higher wages, finer schedules and better rest areas for security guards at Schiphol.
Implementation of ISMS safety measures
Aviation companies at Schiphol work together on safety in the Integral Safety Management System (ISMS). This follows a recommendation from the OVV from 2017. The ISMS recently received a very good assessment from the renowned agency Baines Simmons.
However, the ILT is of the opinion that the aviation companies should implement the safety measures more quickly. Although some measures do indeed take longer than originally planned, it is also important that good progress has been made on many subjects. For the calendar year 2021 applies that of the 12 measures implemented in this year would be there 12 have been completed. Schiphol contributed to this through, among other things, the completion of the first phase of the dual carriageway over the A4, the construction of a stop line as an extra precaution to prevent taxiing traffic from accidentally entering the Aalsmeerbaan, the publication of the license to operate for ground handlers and a tightening of the procedure for ground handling in bad weather.
The ILT is concerned about ground handling. We share these concerns and have initiated a number of measures:
– Strengthen supervision and enforcement by Schiphol authority;
– Apply license to operate, in which quality and safety requirements are set for ground handling;
– Development Equipment Pooling, pilot on the D pier started in January 2023;
– Investigation into limitation of the number of handlers by the Minister of I&W, partly at the request of Schiphol;
– Various measures to solve bottlenecks in infrastructure on the platforms and perimeter roads;
In 2023 we will continue to work with the ground handlers on stimulating the just culture and implementing improvements with regard to safe and agreed behaviour.
Use of polluting auxiliary engines at Schiphol must be reduced
Schiphol, with input from the partners at the airport, has developed a action plan submitted to the ILT on reducing the use of the built-in auxiliary engine (APU) of aircraft on the apron. Schiphol sees reducing APU use as a priority because it brings tangible improvements to the working conditions and the health of apron employees. In addition, it contributes to reducing CO2 emissions from aviation as a whole. Among other things, the plan provides for the implementation of extra pre-conditioned air systems at the aircraft stands, so that the APU does not have to be switched on as often to cool the aircraft.