As of today, the Aalsmeerbaan runway (18L-36R) at Schiphol is once again available for departing aircraft. Following tests with the landing system next week, the runway is expected to reopen for landing air traffic in good visibility. This is sooner than originally planned. Tests will be performed on the landing systems in the period ahead so that the runway can safely be used for landing again as well. Major maintenance has been carried out on Runway 18L-36R since early April to ensure that the runway is and remains in good condition.
During the maintenance period, the asphalt on the largest section of Runway 18L-36R was replaced. This is an area equal to 50 football pitches. A total of 1,650 new LED lights and 50 kilometres of cabling were installed in the asphalt. An overall length of 17 kilometres of runway markings were painted on the new asphalt. Some of the rainwater drainage wells and pipes around the runway were also repaired, cleaned and replaced.
The work was carried out in collaboration with Heijmans. All these different activities were combined as efficiently as possible into three months of major maintenance. By carrying out the maintenance in this way, the runway will only have to be taken out of service for an extended period once every seven years. Runways are briefly taken out of service each year for regular maintenance.
Landing system tests
The landing systems for Runway 18L-36R, such as the Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI), were also updated as part of the major maintenance. To test these systems, Schiphol and LVNL will be conducting special test flights. These flights will take place sometime in the afternoon and evening on 6, 16 and 23 July, depending on weather conditions and air traffic. A special test aircraft will be used for the flights.
No landings in poor visibility
Following the test flights, there will be a period in which aircraft can only land on Runway 18L-36R in good visibility. To allow landings in limited or poor visibility, the new landing systems must first work properly for 30 days in accordance with international safety requirements. Runway 18L-36R is expected to be operational in all visibility conditions at the end of August. Until then, another runway can be used for landing if visibility is limited. Air traffic can, however, depart from Runway 18L-36R under all visibility conditions.
The Dutch government said it will cut the maximum number of flights allowed each year at Schiphol Airport.