The project

The project comprises the construction of a fifth runway and associated taxiways at Schiphol Airport. 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. Total project costs are estimated at EUR 382 million.

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. Schiphol serves a catchment area of some 34 million people. It is a key hub both for the Netherlands and Europe's airport infrastructure (Schiphol is part of the European Union's Trans European Airport Network).

Schiphol Airport is owned by the Dutch State (76%), the City of Amsterdam (22%) and the City of Rotterdam (2%).

Decision to finance

On 15 February 2002, the Bank's Board of Directors approved an EIB loan up to EUR 150 million for the construction of the fifth runway. Its consideration for financing the project was 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 airport's position as one of Europe's major hub airports and will enhance its importance for the Dutch economy.

Environmental Issues

As a general rule, EIB requires project promoters to obtain all legally required environmental consents and planning permissions and compliance with relevant environmental legislation. The Schiphol Airport project is classified under Annex 1 of EU Directive 97/11 requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The Bank has paid careful attention to the various stages of the EIA process. Full EIA procedures have been undertaken prior to planning approval including an extensive public enquiry process. The core planning decision and the "implementation EIA" for the runway construction were completed in the mid nineties. The operation of the new runway will be subject to the new Aviation Act including revised sets of environmental parameters that covers Schiphol Airport as a whole.

Although the operation of the runway will contribute in absolute terms to an increase of air traffic volume and, consequently, aircraft noise, the use of the fifth runway will facilitate the distribution of aircraft noise in a more effective way. Flights will be diverted over more sparsely populated land, thus alleviating the noise burden on existing residential area.

As on 9 August 2002