In the annual new year’s address, Schiphol airport CEO Dick Benschop called for further developing the Dutch aviation system as a whole, including Groningen Airport Eelde and Maastricht Aachen Airport.
Translation by Traci White
RTV Drenthe reports that Benschop, who became CEO of the Royal Schiphol Group in 2018 after nearly nine years at Shell, called for all airports in the Netherlands to be treated as a single group. Royal Schiphol Group already operates three other Dutch airports besides Schiphol: Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Lelystad. “We need to work together as a whole, and that should include Groningen Airport Eelde and Maastricht.”
The statement marks a new direction under Benschop’s leadership. Eelde and Maastricht are the only two airports in the Netherlands which are not a part of the wider Schiphol group. Schiphol, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Lelystad are all on the verge of exceeding capacity, or have faced setbacks to expanding their operations.
Strength in numbers
Groningen Airport Eelde’s director Marco van de Kreeke has made previous appeals for GAE and Maastricht not to be overlooked. Eelde is the smallest airport in the Netherlands, but Benschop says that cooperation among all of the facilities is needed in order to strengthen the Netherland’s position within Europe.
The leadership at GAE is scheduled to meet with Benschop in the near future, and the timing may prove fortuitous for the regional airport. A definitive budget for the airport is set to be approved later in January as GAE continues to hustle to cover financial shortfalls presented by Nordica ending its flights to Munich and Copenhagen in December.
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