An 11 per cent drop in airport charges at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol last year was largely offset by a 9 per cent rise in passenger numbers according to Royal Schiphol Group’s financial results for 2016. But the airport’s CEO has warned that the airport is nearing its capacity ceiling and a new pier and terminal will be needed.
Revenue increased by 0.8% to 1,435 million euros including 50 million euros from the sale of a stake in Schiphol Airport Retail. As in the previous year, market developments in the real estate sector were positive, leading to a 71 million euro increase in the value of the real estate portfolio. The result also includes approximately 52 million euros that will be settled in the airport charges in 2018.
Jos Nijhuis, President and CEO of Royal Schiphol Group commented: “The fast growth in passenger numbers to 63.6 million means that Schiphol is now nearing the limits of its capacity. The number of Schengen passengers has even increased by 17%. We are responding to this effectively by building a temporary departure hall that will provide the required capacity in the short term. In the longer term, further investments in accessibility, quality and a new pier and terminal are essential.
“The aviation sector is one of the main engines of prosperity in the Netherlands, both in an economic and social sense. Aviation connects the Netherlands with the rest of the world. If we want to keep this engine running, it is vital for the aviation sector, the government and the local community to jointly arrive at a solid framework of agreements for growth beyond 2020. We need to strike a sustainable balance between noise mitigation, Mainport development and quality of life in the environs of the airport.”
As of 1 April 2017, airport charges will drop further by 7.1%. Over 2015-2017, the cumulative decrease is 23%. However, due to the substantial investments being made, airport charges are expected to rise again with effect from 2018.
The opening of Lelystad Airport has been delayed for about a year, due to the fact that the required air traffic control services cannot be arranged in time.
With the agreed limit of 500,000 air transport movements per year until 2020 now approaching fast, this will possibly slow down growth at Schiphol over the next few years. This may affect the competitive position of the Mainport.
Average retail spending per departing passenger in the shops behind security control at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has fallen from 14.45 euros to 13.65 euros (-5.5%). The renovated Departure Lounge 2, which was opened on 1 July 2016, has enhanced the retail offering and is driving the steady growth in average spending in this lounge, according to the airport management. Average spending per passenger on food and drinks has increased from 3.98 euros to 4.32 euros (+8.5%).