Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (IATA identifier AMS, ICAO identifier EHAM), ranked fourth busiest airport on the continent in 2022 and is the biggest airport in terms of size and traffic in the Netherlands. Situated just nine kilometres southwest of the capital Amsterdam, Schiphol is the main base for Dutch flag carrier KLM and its regional arm KLM City Hopper. Both of which operate a joint network, connecting the airport to many European and Worldwide destinations. Second, only to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Schiphol is Europe’s second busiest SkyTeam hub.
To this effect, the airport serves as the main European focus city for Delta Airlines, which together with Air France and KLM, founded Sky Team. Delta Airlines operates a substantial network out of Schiphol, connecting the airport to a number of North American destinations. The airport also serves as a hub for TUI Netherlands and KLM’s holiday arm Transavia, while serving as a focus city for Easyjet.
On the cargo side of things, the airport is the main base for KLM’s cargo arm, flying a fleet of four Martinair-operated Boeing 747 freighters. The airport is also very popular with other cargo operators, with frequent visits by Air China Cargo, China Southwest, China Southern, Suprana, Atlas Air, Kallita, Latam, Saudia, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Cargo.
Renowned for its sheer size, boasting seven active runways, the airport is Europe’s leading airport when it comes to pollution and noise pollution management. Air traffic control makes it a mission to minimize the airport’s impact on nearby communities, by managing traffic in an efficient, yet community-friendly way, different runways are used at certain times of the day, only making use of runways whose flight path directly overflies the city and surrounding communities during peak hours. Nevertheless, the pro-environment government intends to move forward with its plan to reduce traffic by some 50,000 flights per year, in a bid to further reduce noise pollution and curb the airport’s carbon footprint. This move irked the airlines no end and has led to the big players, namely KLM, Air France, Delta and Easyjet joining forces and filing a class suit action against the government for loss of business, claiming that they have already made big investments based on the current schedule.
Spotting-wise, due to its significant size, and extensive canal network, Schiphol is arguably one of the most spotter-friendly airports on the continent, with multiple spotting locations at all times of the day on almost all seven runways. There are also numerous websites from where one can, in real-time, know exactly which runway any particular flight would be used for landing and take-off.