Groningen Airport Eelde (GAE) can carry up to 6 million passengers a year if it receives adequate assistance from the Infrastructure and Water Management Ministry, VVD parliamentarian Daniel Koerhuis said Wednesday. The MP’s remarks, made during a Second chamber debate on regional airports, reflect a growing concern about chaotic conditions at Schiphol airport which have impacted this year’s travel season.
“Eelde can ramp up its capacity from current 200,000 travelers to 6 million passengers in the future,” Koerhuis was quoted by Omroep OOG as saying. “This can be achieved by transferring holiday flights to Eelde. Schiphol can then focus on strengthening its global hub function.”
The MP suggested that infrastructure minister Mark Harbers (VVD) enter negotiations with Schiphol, Eelde, and the airlines to determine how many flights the Eelde airport can take over. Minister Harbers said the airport should do more to become attractive to commercial carriers emphasizing at the same time he had been in talks with the parties concerned.
GAE CEO Meitje de Groot said earlier that the airport could accommodate up to 20 extra flights a day if it were given enough warning and time to prepare. The transfer of services could help reduce travel disruption at Schiphol, but minister Harbers indicated the final decision is unlikely to be taken before the end of 2024.