Hans de Boer
Chairman of Employers’ Association VNO-NCW
Schiphol: pioneering connectivityand sustainability for a century
“Schiphol’s 100th anniversary is a very special milestone. Not only can Schiphol boast an impressive history, it also occupies a strong position today. The hundreds of direct connections via Schiphol are very important for the Dutch business climate. They make the Netherlands attractive to international companies and head offices, and help to create jobs. It is therefore essential for Schiphol to remain a leading hub. This requires the government, airport and hub carrier to keep operating as a single Dutch aviation system in order to remain competitive at a global level.
At the same time, the challenge of maintaining and strengthening this position requires pressure on the climate and the environment to be reduced. In my opinion, this should be possible if the sector and international governments work together to set appropriate conditions. Examples include further steps under the Dutch Presidency of the EU towards a single European airspace and establishment by ICAO of a market mechanism for CO2 reduction on a global scale. In the meantime, impressive progress is already being made through the use of quieter, cleaner and more efficient aircraft. Home carrier KLM is a global pioneer in the use of biokerosene, and Schiphol itself is internationally renowned as one of the most sustainable airports in the world. Schiphol has a ‘one terminal’ layout, which means that passengers can reach everything at the airport on foot. Electric taxis can be found in front of the terminal and the train station is beneath it. Recently, the terminal was the first in the world to install circular lighting. It is this combination of leadership, core activities, competitive strength and sustainability which forms the basis of a sustainable strategy. This will allow KLM’s outstanding network and the equally outstanding Schiphol airport to retain their strategic significance for the Netherlands in the years ahead.”