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A380MSN004
Topic Author
Posts: 824
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:07 am

Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:45 am

Hi everyone,

Amsterdam School airport got an overall of 6 runways which is a pretty good number compared to the other major airport in the world.

18R/36L 'Polderbaan' 3,800m
06/24 'Kaagbaan' 3,500m
09/27 'Buitenveldertbaan' 3,453m
18L/36R 'Aalsmeerbaan' 3,400m
18C/36C 'Zwanenburgbaan' 3,300m
04/22 'Oostbaan' 2,014m

Why so many runways ?
Has this been decided at the conception step of the airport ?
Is there specific wind conditions at AMS that justify so many runways ?
Or is this a NIMBYs reason ?

Many thanks.
 
SpaceshipDC10
Posts: 7054
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:44 am

Re: Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:55 am

A380MSN004 wrote:
Hi everyone,

Amsterdam School airport got an overall of 6 runways which is a pretty good number compared to the other major airport in the world.

18R/36L 'Polderbaan' 3,800m
06/24 'Kaagbaan' 3,500m
09/27 'Buitenveldertbaan' 3,453m
18L/36R 'Aalsmeerbaan' 3,400m
18C/36C 'Zwanenburgbaan' 3,300m
04/22 'Oostbaan' 2,014m

Why so many runways ?
Has this been decided at the conception step of the airport ?
Is there specific wind conditions at AMS that justify so many runways ?
Or is this a NIMBYs reason ?

Many thanks.


I believe the Polderbaan was in part built to take traffic away from the city, while 04/22 is from the old days of the airport and still used mainly by bizjets.

https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/52.3342/4.6975
 
pythoniels
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:54 pm

Re: Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:03 am

Most important reasons are the wind and the airport is close to houses. The airport tries to split out- and inbound traffic between certain runways of which the 36L is most used for take-offs and 18R for landings. There are certain peaks where 3 runways are in use at the same time (2 inbound + 1 outbound OR 1 inbound + 2 outbound).

In case of hard wind from unfavorable directions, you can understand there are inevitable delays as runway capacity is restricted.
 
jpiddink
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:23 pm

Re: Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:08 am

That's correct. Additionally, with the North Sea really close by, the winds can come from every direction and be pretty strong. Hence, having runways in all directions helps keeping the airport in operation throughout. Seeing a 747 hovering over the old city centre to land on the shoooort Oostbaan 22 during a storm from the southwest is still quite impressive ;-)

Another remarkable thing is that, due to wind and noise-preferred runway operations, the combination (and indeed direction) in which the runways are used change throughout any normal day, wheras airports like FRA have procedures for that which are far less flexible.
 
Jetty
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:27 pm

Re: Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:35 am

There are peaks when 4 runways are in use, most of the time just 3.

Image

Capacity wise the airport could have done with 5 runways (1 spare for maintenance), but the oldest runways can’t all be used independently and the last added runway causes noise disturbance to less people hence it was added.

There is even room for a 7th and 8th runway, which would also disturb less people than the 3 most Eastern runways.
Image
Last edited by Jetty on Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:43 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
76er
Posts: 710
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:04 pm

Re: Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:37 am

IIRC when the ‘new’ AMS was on the drawing board in the 1950’s and -60’s the original design called for 6 new runways: 19L/R, 27L/R and 24L/R. 27L and 24R were scrapped from the plans because at the time it was believed AMS would in the end never need this much capacity. Hindsight is 20-20.
The 3 different directions the runways are pointing are indeed because of the winds. Winter storms can come from any direction between southwest and northwest mostly.
 
airlinerart
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:26 am

Re: Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:44 am

Above points but they also have the space to have a sprawling airport site and it's probably how all airports should be rather than be the old one out!
 
factsonly
Posts: 3146
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:08 pm

Re: Amsterdam Schipol Runways

Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:08 pm

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol was founded in 1918 as a military airfield, without any runways.
Runways did not yet exist in those days. Airfields consisted of large grassy fields, on which aircraft just turned their nose into the wind for take-off and landing.

The AMS runway lay-out is based on the 1947 plans presented by the first airport director Jan Dellaert.
These plans recognised that the performance of propeller aircraft was much influenced by the direction of the wind.
Most airports of those propeller days had multiple runways in various directions.

Image


Another design from bygone days. The three lower runways are currently in operation:
06/24 'Kaagbaan' 3,500m
09/27 'Buitenveldertbaan' 3,453m
18L/36R 'Aalsmeerbaan' 3,400m


Image

Later on, in the jet age, the volume of traffic dictated the need for parallel runways.
This led to the current 3x parallel runway and 3x original tangential runways.
Wind is a major issue for the airport due to its closeness to the sea.

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