The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term financing institution, is lending EUR 150 million to Schiphol Airport for its fifth runway, currently under construction, and associated taxiways. The 3.8 km long and 60 m wide runway will be capable of accommodating aircraft operating on long-haul routes and will be operable in all weather conditions.
The EIB's consideration for financing the project is the runway's contribution to a continued development and growth of Schiphol Airport in compliance with the relevant environmental standards. The project will help consolidate the position of the Airport as one of Europe's major hub airports and will enhance its importance for the Dutch economy. Schiphol Airport is situated near Amsterdam at the heart of the country's "Randstad", a conurbation of some 5 million inhabitants encompassing Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The Airport and the associated businesses within its boundaries, employ some 54 000 people. Schiphol Airport is a key gate to Western Europe serving a catchment area of some 34 million people. It is part of the European Union's Trans European Airport Network.
While contributing in absolute terms to an increase of air traffic volume, the operation of the fifth runway will facilitate the distribution of aircraft noise in a different way. Flights will be diverted over more sparsely populated land, thus alleviating the noise burden on existing residential area.
In 2001, EIB loan signatures in the Netherlands totalled EUR 787 million.
The EIB is owned by the Member States of the European Union. It was set up in 1958 to finance capital investment furthering EU policy objectives, and, though a not for profit organisation, it is self-financing, raising its funds by borrowing on capital markets (AAA issuer).
The EIB's key policy objectives are financing: regional development; the trans-European networks in transport, telecom and energy; knowledge and R&D intensive industries; improved international competitiveness of industry; small and medium sized enterprises; environmental protection; secure energy supplies; and health and education. It also provides finance outside the EU and the Accession Countries within certain limits as part of the EU's co-operation and development policies.