As someone who first used Schiphol soon after it opened in 1967 I can verify it was a breath of fresh air in Europe at that time.
Here was a purpose-built single terminal equipped with the latest facilities, at a time in Europe when the major hubs either had more than one terminal, were overcrowded or else were recovering from World War II damage.
It was one which raised the bar for tax-free shopping, and offered an almost 100 per cent guarantee that every flight would have airbridge (rather than bus) boarding.
However over the years the expansion of air travel has created issues for Schiphol’s single terminal concept.
So plans for a separate terminal (adjoining the existing Departure and Arrival Hall 1) were drawn up.
But there are now reports that Schiphol’s planned new terminal has been postponed. According to Luchtvaartnieuws Schiphol is reassessing the situation as a result of COVID-19, which has caused a passenger decline.
Reports Luchtvaartnieuws “Schiphol is rescheduling the tender for its new Terminal A to a later date.”
Originally the plan was for Terminal A to be completed in 2023.
Schiphol was always ahead of the curve in the way it developed many new runways. But aviation growth created problems for that single terminal.
The latter hasn’t kept pace with demand. This meant Schiphol had to cap flight movements (to ease terminal pressure) and bus transfers were required at busy times.
And a few years ago we reported on the lengthy queues for clearing Schiphol’s formalities.
Readers have grumbled both about the excessive walking distances required when transitting Schiphol (although in fairness this can depend on which terminal section the flights use), and its overly short Minimum Connection Times (MCTs) of just 40 minutes for European services and 50 minutes for long-haul.
These MCTs, to be best of my knowledge, have remained unchanged for many years – right from the time when Schiphol’s single terminal was far smaller and when it handled far fewer flights.