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Safety

Safety at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol concerns, above all, aviation safety, fire safety and road safety. Laws and regulations are leading. We use the Airside Safety Management System (ASMS) at airside and the Terminal Safety Management System (TSMS) in the terminal complex. These two systems provide information about relevant business activities, operational risks and the corresponding control measures, and also identify the responsible process owners. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol can assess, analyse and control the safety risks via ASMS and TSMS.

Safety on and around runways

Safety around runways relates to preventing the unauthorised access of aircraft or other vehicles to a runway. Our efforts are aimed at reducing the risk of a runway incursion and at reducing any effects in the event of a runway incursion. In implementing this policy, we work together closely with all the parties within the aviation process, in particular with Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL).

Most runway incursions resulted from small deviations from procedures, such as passing the stop line instead of stopping in front of it. In 2013, there were 23 runway incursions (42 in 2012), all without any serious threat of danger. The high number recorded for 2012 was due to multiple use on the same day of a runway that had not been cleared for use.

The Schiphol Safety Platform has set up a task force focusing on improving a number of locations where runway incursions occur repeatedly. We now have a clear understanding of what countermeasures can be taken, and we will implement a number of these in 2014.

Construction work on taxiway Tango at the south side of Runway 06-24 continued in 2013. This taxiway connects the Southeast Cargo apron with Schiphol-Centre via the end of Runway 06-24. In the future, Runway 06-24 will mainly be crossed at a different, less dangerous, location. This will reduce the risk of serious runway incursions. The taxiway is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2014.

Number of runway incursions at Schiphol
(per year)

2013

23

2012

42

2011

36

2010

31

2009

32

Preventing bird strikes

Birds remain a serious flight safety risk. In order to control this risk, Schiphol employs bird controllers who patrol the landing area 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The dispersal work has been modernised: the bird controllers record their activities digitally on their ‘Birdpads’. All dispersal operations can be supplemented immediately with detailed information, such as the species, the location and the time of the operation.

We have also taken measures to prevent birds from coming to the airport. We are making our grounds as uninviting as possible for birds by planting birches, for example. The activities of the Netherlands Control Group for Bird Strikes have been intensified, resulting in, for example, the faster ploughing in of grain fields around Schiphol: approximately 2,000 hectares of grain fields were ploughed in in 2013, 40% more than in 2012. The effect of this work is less potential food for birds as we saw over the summer when we had fewer geese in the skies above the airport. We have developed a method that allows us to determine in advance how attractive a particular new area in the region will be to birds. This method will be tested and refined in 2014. We are also examining the possibilities offered by automated bird detection by radar in a pilot project.

We request that pilots report each bird strike. In 2013, the number of bird strikes at Schiphol per 10,000 air transport movements amounted to 6.1 (7.0 in 2012).

Number of bird strikes at Schiphol
(per 10,000 air transport movements)

2013

6.1

2012

7.0

2011

7.6

2010

7.7

2009

7.1