We aim to offer passengers a pleasant and comfortable stay at Schiphol. We strive to facilitate airlines by ensuring a smooth passenger process. Our guiding principle is that passengers continue to opt for Schiphol as a departure and transfer airport.
State-of-the-art baggage system
Efficient baggage handling helps make air travel a comfortable experience. Schiphol leads the industry with its state-of-the-art baggage system 70MB, which was fully commissioned in 2013. Schiphol initiated and implemented the programme in close cooperation with KLM. The project required an investment of approximately 800 million euros.
Baggage handling efficiency has increased significantly since the introduction of 70MB, while working conditions have also improved. The 70MB programme helps us to improve the quality of our services, and over the past few years has reduced the IR rate (the percentage of bags that fail to arrive at a destination at the same time as the passenger).
The percentage of delayed bags would have dropped further in 2013 if we were to discount the system malfunction on 3 May, when the automatic baggage routing system failed following overnight maintenance work. It took some time to resolve the problems, which unfortunately inconvenienced a large number of passengers. The situation was also a source of major inconvenience for the airlines involved. Needless to add, we have taken every possible measure to prevent similar failures and inconvenience for passengers and airlines in the future.
The IR rate for 2013 rose slightly in comparison with 2012, from 1.5% to 1.7%. This means 17 bags for every 1,000 departing passengers did not arrive on time and had to be forwarded.
Simplifying the border passage process
Use of our automated No-Q border passage system, introduced at Schiphol in 2012 in cooperation with the government, increased steadily over the course of 2013. This year, over a million passengers used the fully automated passport control system, which incorporates features such as facial recognition. No-Q helps to increase processing speeds at passport control. The use of this innovative border passage system is expected to intensify in the years ahead.
New EU legislation on liquids took effect on 31 January 2014. As a result, transfer passengers carrying liquid items purchased at their airport of departure may now take their purchases on board connecting flights from Schiphol provided the purchases have been inspected. We have set up various central checkpoints in the terminal where passengers can present these liquids for inspection.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol's large capacity is thanks to its extensive runway network. The terminal is designed to welcome large numbers of passengers and process large volumes of baggage at peak times, which occur following the arrival of intercontinental flights during the passenger transfer process. We make clever use of the available space before border passage, especially during the early morning and late afternoon peak hours. Facilities designed to speed up the passenger process include self-service check-in, self-service baggage drop-off, self-service transfer kiosks and the automated No-Q border passage system. Nevertheless, on peak days we have less flexibility to accommodate disruptions as a result of poor weather conditions, cancellations or delays. In response, we ask our own (office) staff to pitch in in the terminal to assist passengers. Each year, we work with the various operational departments, KLM Ground Services and SAOC to prepare a special plan outlining the acute measures to be implemented in the event of operational disruptions. All these measures and facilities help to optimise capacity utilisation, increase efficiency levels at all operational parties involved in the daily process and enhance passenger convenience and comfort.
Record peaks during summer
In the period from June through September, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol welcomed a record number of passengers. We generally managed to keep operations running smoothly. This success can be attributed to effective cooperation with our partners, the efforts of our own people and office staff, the expansion of the non-Schengen/Schengen filter and the relocation of the Tax Refund office to Departure Hall 3. An intensified focus on staffing at the security filters, the Dutch Border Police (Koninklijke Marechaussee) and floor management also helped ensure a smooth passenger process.