One of Europe’s busiest airports is limiting daily flights over fears it will have 3,500 too many passengers every day to operate safely

One of Europe’s busiest airports is extending a daily restriction on the number of flights it handles over concerns that it could have 3,500 “too many” passengers per day during busy times.

On Tuesday, Royal Schiphol Group, the operator of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport announced it is extending a daily flight limit that has been in place since July, through to September and October.

In September, there will be a maximum of 67,500 local passenger departures per day. This will rise to 69,500 in October, on account of the busier traffic during the fall holidays, the airport said in a statement, adding that the purpose was to ensure the safety of passengers and employees.

“Schiphol has informed airlines and travel organizations that in and around the two weeks of the autumn holidays, the expectation is that there will be an average of 3,500 too many local departing passengers,” the airport said.

The cap comes alongside other measures, including an extension of the hub’s four-hour rule introduced in July that urges passengers not to arrive more than four hours before their flights.

The airport said setting a maximum number of departing passengers helps airlines cope with any operational changes.

“Virtually all parties at the airport are understaffed, and any unexpected changes can result in delays to the entire airport process at Schiphol,” the statement said.

A total of 5.2 million passengers passed through Schiphol in June 2022, according to the hub’s latest traffic figures. That’s down from 6.5 million in May 2019, but far higher than the 1.7 million in June 2021.

Amsterdam Schiphol has hired more than 200 security guards to help passengers

The airport has been on a hiring spree to minimize the delays. It said it expects 200 security guards to start work in August, and a further 80 to start in October.

This is partly in response to what it anticipates as a “seasonal affect” that occurs after summer, where “travelers use more bins at security control after the summer because they wear more clothes, such as coats, hiking boots and vests.”

As a result, it takes longer for passengers to pass through security with their hand luggage, the hub said in the statement.

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