Schiphol Airport Amsterdam

The Challenge

Schiphol Airport is one of the world’s busiest and most important international hubs with passengers, airlines and businesses accessing all services 24 hours a day. It serves 71m passengers a year, with six runways, 90 gates and 2,787 hectares of airport area serving 322 worldwide destinations.

In 2018 AiQ Consulting won the contract to undertake an independent assessment of Operational Capacity at Schiphol Airport. It was the first time the airport has asked an independent consultant to assess airport declaration capacity.

Schiphol Airport is classed as a Level 3 airport. This commercial declaration of Level 3, when IATA perceives restrictions in part of an airport’s operations with no option for expansion, protects the level of service to passengers. This could include flights, space, optimum standards or more. The Level 3 classification suggests that further growth is not possible, however an independent assessment, through an experienced consultancy such as AiQ, can clarify and confirm the status as well as recommend new ways to increase capacity.

The Solution

AiQ Consulting provided a holistic end-to-end analysis of capacity in the airport, in what is a very complex and challenging environment, aimed to validate the airport’s own analysis. Our team undertook a full assessment of key processes in all areas from stands to baggage reclaim; to pick up and drop off, check in, security, emigration, IDL, and piers.

In conjunction with AiQ Consulting’s Associate Director Chris Pickard, we validated the airport’s own process which was already good and comprehensive, but we were also able to give suggestions on their procedures. Chris’ extensive experience in this area, as Head of Capacity and Occupancy for Heathrow between 2009 & 2014, as well as his talent in innovation and growth, ensured that we were able to share best practice in capacity assessments and the declaration process throughout the project.

We assisted Schiphol’s internal team with the way they worked and decided on capacity, as well as introducing tools that would streamline process of understanding capacity in the future. TransvisionAiR™, our bespoke demand, capacity and simulation modelling tool, created clear airport capacity scenario models that enabled them to understand the operations across the airport, providing efficient decision making.

The Benefit

With AiQ Consulting’s independent assessment of declaration capacity, we were able to draw conclusions and recommendations from all areas of Schiphol Airport and their capacity assessment process and say whether it was fit for purpose. Working with the IATA standards allows us to provide a more holistic approach for our clients, with trusted and respected regulations and processes.

Stakeholder engagement was also a key part of our methodology. We were able to speak to all stakeholders throughout the process, a great benefit to the airport. For example, we interviewed airlines on where they saw issues, information about capacity and whether they feel engaged and informed. Our support of the airport also gave their in house team access to our bespoke technology.

After this analysis of capacity in the airport, we hope to help the management team plan a phrased structured approach to growth, through our experience in optimising highly constrained and saturated airports, both in Heathrow and around the world.

Our experience, as well as our viewpoint as an independent consultant, will enable the airport to increase operational efficiency, with a smoother passenger journey from forecourt, to check-in, to security, to departure lounge.

  • Increased capacity and flexibility
  • Efficient stakeholder management
  • Project management
  • Resource utilisation increased
  • Improved passenger customer service and airport experience
  • Use of expert simulation and modelling technology