Opening for holiday travellers
Lelystad Airport, a new point of departure.
Lelystad Airport, a new point of departure
Lelystad Airport is preparing for the arrival of holiday and leisure air traffic.
Once a new cabinet makes a positive decision, holiday and leisure flights will land and depart from Lelystad Airport. Currently, it ranks as the second busiest airport in the Netherlands in terms of flight movements. This addition of holiday and leisure air traffic complements the largest General Aviation airport in the Netherlands.
As part of the Royal Schiphol Group, Lelystad Airport has been intended to receive flights relocated from Schiphol since 2008. The Dutch airports operate as a unified system, with Schiphol and Lelystad Airport forming a single airport where capacity can be distributed.
The arrival of holiday and leisure air traffic at Lelystad Airport aims to strengthen the economy of Flevoland. It is expected to contribute to sustainable and future-proof employment opportunities and further development of associated education in the adjacent business area.
A diverse and high-quality range of job opportunities is crucial for the overall prosperity of Lelystad and Flevoland, especially in the context of regional development plans, emphasizing integration with the environment and community support.
Lelystad Airport serves as a solution to keep the Netherlands internationally accessible and distribute air traffic more evenly across the country. For more information on the opening of Lelystad Airport for holiday and leisure air traffic, please read the FAQs on this page.
FAQ: all the facts about the opening of Lelystad Airport for holiday/leisure air traffic.
Reduction of nuisance around Schiphol
Once Lelystad Airport takes over flights from Schiphol, the nuisance around Schiphol will decrease for approximately 100,000 residents.
At Lelystad Airport, in the initial phase with 10,000 flight movements, fewer than 100 residents experience severe nuisance. This provides the opportunity to relocate night flights from Schiphol to flights operated during the day at Lelystad Airport.
Lelystad Airport aims to maintain the livability for residents even after opening for holiday/leisure air traffic.
In 2022, the current demissionary Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management has set two conditions for making a decision about the future of Lelystad Airport with holiday/leisure air traffic:
1. obtaining the nature permit;
2. finding a solution for the approach route to Lelystad Airport near Lemelerveld.
The updated permit application for obtaining a nature permit was submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality on December 5, 2023.
After the ruling of the Council of State in 2019, which invalidated the Program Approach Nitrogen, Lelystad Airport has been in discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality regarding obtaining the required nature permit.
Ultimately, Lelystad Airport decided to acquire the necessary nitrogen rights/space through external balancing to obtain the required nature permit.
Additionally, Lelystad Airport decided to acquire this space for the situation with a maximum of 10,000 flight movements for holiday/leisure air traffic. The ambition is still to grow the activity to a maximum of 45,000 flight movements for holiday/leisure air traffic; a decision will only be requested once there is clarity on the legalization of the PAS notification submitted by Lelystad Airport in 2016 and 2019 and once the Airspace Restructuring Program has been completed.
The balancing task of Lelystad Airport is limited in scope and concerns the Natura 2000 areas Veluwe, Rijntakken, Naardermeer, and Oostelijke Vechtplassen. Lelystad Airport has purchased nitrogen space and not farms. Transactions have been made with parties intending to (partially) cease their activities. The acquired space is more than necessary for granting the permit to Lelystad Airport. The nitrogen space remaining after obtaining the nature permit will be provided to the provinces of Flevoland and Gelderland at no cost, so they can assist, for example, PAS notifiers. Lelystad Airport has farm businesses as neighbors and understands their desire to be licensed quickly. If we can contribute to that, we are happy to do so.
The permit process is not dependent on political decision-making or cabinet formation. It is not yet known when the permit will be granted.
Flight Routes Lelystad Airport
The flight routes to and from Lelystad Airport have been designed within the existing airspace. Safety is always a priority. Therefore, when designing the flight routes, consideration was given to the busy routes to and from Schiphol. A portion of the airspace is also used as a military training area.
In 2022, the current demissionary Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management set two conditions for making a decision about the opening of Lelystad Airport for holiday/leisure air traffic:
1. obtaining the nature permit;
2. finding a solution for the approach route to Lelystad Airport near Lemelerveld.
In December 2023, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) concluded that it is possible not to use sector 3 approach route, also known as the ‘low-flying route’, when facilitating 10,000 flight movements per year.
Additional information about the flight routes:
- The arrival and departure routes of Lelystad Airport have a total length of 1709 km. These arrival and departure routes connect Lelystad Airport to the international route network in five directions (sectors).
- LVNL conducted research in 2020 and 2021 on further raising these flight routes. LVNL has succeeded in adjusting all routes on a route segment of 22 km in the approach to the airport from the southwest direction (sector 3) – near Lemelerveld;
- Adjusting this last 22 kilometers requires a change in the current airspace structure (part of the Airspace Restructuring Program);
- If this section remains out of use, LVNL requires that air traffic be distributed as evenly as possible throughout the day to prevent overcrowding on the other routes. On average, 13 flights per day will use the sector 3 route. This includes both incoming and outgoing traffic.On average, 6 to 7 flights must therefore arrive via the other four routes. The maximum capacity at Lelystad Airport is also determined by the facilities at the airport. Currently, 4 aircraft parking positions have been realized. This means that the peak capacity of the airport is limited to these parking positions. Therefore, it is a given that traffic is gradually distributed throughout the day (thus fulfilling one of LVNL’s requirements).
Number of Flight Movements
Regarding Schiphol and Lelystad Airport, the focus should not be on the number of flights but on addressing emissions and nuisance.
We strive for reduced emissions and less (noise) nuisance. The goals set for this determine the number of flights. We are in discussions with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management on this matter.
The number of holiday/leisure air traffic flights in the first years will be a maximum of 10,000 flights per year. This averages to 27 takeoffs and/or landings per day. The airport is open for holiday/leisure air traffic from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm, occasionally until 12:00 am if the last flight is delayed due to unforeseen circumstances that occurred during the last flight.
There are no night flights because Lelystad Airport is closed at night. There are also no cargo flights.
What are the air traffic controllers currently doing at Lelystad Airport?
Lelystad Airport is the largest General Aviation airport in the Netherlands with approximately 80,000 flight movements per year. In terms of flight movements, Lelystad Airport is the second airport in the Netherlands. Air traffic controllers ensure the safe handling of that air traffic.
Significant Economic Boost for Flevoland
The airport attracts businesses, provides local and regional employment, and enhances the business climate. For example, for companies involved in the maintenance and repair of aircraft and aircraft parts (MRO companies).
Lelystad Airport Businesspark (LAB) is a dynamic place where innovation and sustainability are central, and where entrepreneurs literally have the space to do business. Due to its optimal accessibility and central location, Lelystad Airport Businesspark is a gateway to Europe and the rest of the world.
The use of the airport for holiday/leisure air traffic offers economic opportunities in the form of employment, innovation, education, and housing for Flevoland.
Lelystad Airport is prepared for the arrival of holiday/leisure air traffic
In recent years, significant construction has taken place at Lelystad Airport.
The control tower
The control tower has been raised so that larger (narrow-body) aircraft, under the guidance of air traffic controllers, can take off and land safely. Safety is paramount, so it is essential for Air Traffic Control to have excellent visibility over the entire airport, both on the ground and in the air. Air traffic controllers are the eyes and ears of the pilots in the cockpit. They guide aircraft from the control tower in the airspace and on the airport.
This way, they keep the runway clear for aircraft on the ground, ensuring safe landings, and direct aircraft in the right direction. The unique aspect of the control tower at Lelystad Airport is that the structure of the original control tower was preserved during the renovation.
The dome of the tower was temporarily removed, and three floors were added to the existing tower. This provided a sustainable solution for raising the tower. The distinctive red and white tower was put back into operation in July 2018. During the renovation, a mobile control tower was used.
The passenger terminal
The passenger terminal is the airport’s calling card. Spectacular simplicity; with minimal resources, a maximum effect has been achieved. The design fits into the polder landscape and is in the spirit of engineer Lely.
The new terminal is the place you enter when you are about to start your vacation. It is where your family and friends wave you off or welcome you back. Lelystad Airport becomes a ‘self-service airport’. As a passenger, you quickly go through a straightforward process. From the plaza, you can already see the airplanes parked. It is a place where you feel comfortable and have a beautiful view of our runway.
The passenger terminal has an area of 12,000 square meters, with 7,000 m2 as a passenger waiting area and 1,200 m2 reserved for shops and restaurants. Additionally, 3,000 m2 is designated for baggage handling, and 800 m2 is used for offices.
The passenger terminal meets the highest standards of sustainable construction. For example, the departure and arrival hall (plaza) of the airport is a climate-neutral space. Therefore, Lelystad Airport is the first airport in Europe to receive the internationally renowned LEED-Gold certificate for a sustainable terminal.
The runway has been extended and widened, and parking positions for four aircraft have been constructed. With the arrival of large (narrow-body) aircraft (with a maximum wingspan of 36 meters), a longer and wider runway is necessary.
A new (taxi) runway has been built so that aircraft can move to and from the terminal (3,300 meters).
There are 4 aircraft parking positions for operations up to 10,000 flight movements per year for holiday/leisure air traffic. These are the platforms where the aircraft are parked and prepared for departure.
The runway is equipped with LED lighting.
To manage future passenger flows effectively, the province of Flevoland and the municipality of Lelystad have ensured optimal accessibility. The connection to the A6 has been significantly improved, and there is a direct (electric) bus connection from Lelystad station to and from Lelystad Airport.
In front of the passenger terminal, there is a spacious parking area. If you need to drop someone off, there is a kiss & ride zone in front of the passenger terminal. There is also space for bus stops in front of the passenger terminal and taxi stands.There will be a fast and electric bus connection to Lelystad Central Station, allowing you to travel from the station to the passenger terminal within 15 minutes.
Sustainability and innovation are at the forefront of the development of Lelystad Airport. Together with market parties, we have considered how to build the most sustainable airport.
When extending the runway, the ground was not excavated. A new layer of sand was added to the soil, mixed with the existing ground. By adding a lime mixture, the same firmness was achieved as in the traditional way. This approach saved 10,000 truck trips and reduced CO2 emissions by 500 tons.
Lelystad Airport will become a fully self-service airport, with advanced state-of-the-art systems that align with the mobile, digital world. Passengers can check-in at home and drop off their luggage independently. Additional luggage is paid for and checked in by passengers themselves.
Self-driving baggage carts will also be introduced in the baggage hall to transport your suitcase from the belt to the correct aircraft. Robots will be moving around Lelystad Airport.
The ‘just in time’ system that informs passengers when they can depart to the gate enhances passenger convenience.
Natural energy and ventilation are optimally utilized to create a pleasant indoor climate. The passenger terminal is an energy-efficient building with a smart, compact climate system that adapts to changing conditions and people’s movements.
The terminal is certified at the LEED-Gold level, making it one of the most sustainable terminals in the world.
Good Communication and Collaboration with the Community
Local and provincial authorities hope that Lelystad Airport will open for holiday/leisure air traffic due to increased employment opportunities and more educational options.
They also expect that the living and business climate of the region will become more attractive.
The airport collaborates closely with the foundation De Lelystadse Boer, a collaboration of farmers in the area. They already mow the grass on the airport grounds and will provide the catering and retail in the passenger terminal with products.
Working at Lelystad Airport
With the arrival of holiday/leisure air traffic at Lelystad Airport, there is a need for personnel for passenger assistance, security, customs, aircraft maintenance, aircraft refueling, air traffic control, cleaning, and catering. There is also a need for an expansion of staff functions.