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At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, safety encompasses aviation, fire and road safety. Laws and regulations are leading. We use the Terminal Safety Management System (TSMS) in the terminal complex and the Airside Safety Management System (ASMS) at airside. These two systems provide information about relevant business activities, operational risks and the corresponding management measures and identify the responsible process owners. The 'plan–do–check–act' components of the TSMS and ASMS enable Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to assess, analyse and control safety risks. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate audited the ASMS in 2012 and extended the operating licence for a periode of five years.

Safety on and around runways

Safety around runways relates to the prevention of unintended access of aircraft or other vehicles to a runway. Our efforts are aimed at reducing the risk of a runway incursion and at reducing any effects in the event of a runway incursion. In implementing this policy, we work together closely with all the parties within the aviation process, in particular with Air Traffic Control the Netherlands.

Most runway incursions resulted from small deviations from procedures, such as the nose wheel standing on the stop line  instead of behind it. In 2012, there were 42 runway incursions (36 in 2011), all without serious danger. Runway incursions can range from a vehicle crossing the red clearance line to use of the runway when this has not been officially released. The increase in 2012 is due the use of a runway that had not been released several times on one day.

The parties from the aviation sector that together form the Runway Safety Team, monitor and analyse the runway incursions, after which appropriate measures are taken where necessary. One of these measures is the installation of warning lights along the runways, which stems from the Runway Safety Policy that was developed in 2010. The warning lights installation process along all the runways, which started with the installation of such lights along Runway 06-24 in 2011, has now been completed.

In 2012, the preparatory work for the construction of taxiway Tango to the south side of Runway 06-24 commenced. The completion of the taxiway is planned at the end of 2014. This will significantly decrease the number of crossings with Runway 06-24 and, consequently, also the risk of runway incursions.

Following the incident in 2010, when an aircraft took off from the taxiway instead of the runway, we have carried out a risk analysis together with the other parties in the aviation sector. The outcome of this analysis should lead to new measures that enhance the safety at the landing area.

Number of runway incursions at Schiphol
(per year)











Preventing bird strikes

Birds, and especially geese, form an increasing flight safety risk. We do everything in our power to limit the bird strike problem. On 16 April 2012, the Netherlands Control Group for Bird Strikes (NRV) signed the covenant Reducing Bird Strikes ( Verminderen Vogelaanvaringen). Schiphol Group, KLM and Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) are all members of this control group, which is chaired by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. We apply a joint policy that already led to positive results in 2012: compared to a year earlier, 90% less geese have been observed flying over the runways during the late summer. Since there are still many geese around the airport, we propose to continue this policy.

The province of Noord-Holland has made an effort to further intensify population management. It uses nest treatment, culling and gassing. In addition, this summer ploughing was stepped up for almost 3,500 acres of grain fields. As a result, there was little to no food for the geese in the late summer in the Haarlemmermeer area.

We classify bird species according to the degree to which they pose a risk for flight safety. On the basis of this model, specific control measures have been developed to target different types of birds. We make the runway area as unappealing as possible for these birds, which stops them from coming close to the runways in use.

A test involving the hiring of a falconer ended in June 2012. Unfortunately, the long-term presence of the falconer has not resulted in a significant decrease in bird activity and bird strikes at Schiphol. Other methods to chase away the birds are equally or more effective and often cheaper. We did, however, hire the falconer every day during the summer months to chase away the birds from the Schiphol grounds outside the runway area, where a large number of geese, plovers and pigeons were spotted.

Pilots are requested to report each bird strike. In 2012, the number of bird strikes per 10,000 air transport movements amounted to 7.0 (7.6 in 2011).

Number of bird strikes at Schiphol
(per 10,000 air transport movements)