Lelystad readies for more bizav traffic

 - April 28, 2010, 8:03 AM

Efforts to establish Lelystad Airport as the main business aviation gateway for the Netherlands have received a boost as a result of a recent Dutch government decision to allow the main runway to be extended to almost 6,900 feet. Also, from early March, the airport has been able to nearly quadruple its annual traffic limits by aircraft weighing more than six metric tons (31,227 pounds) from the previous ceiling of 6,000 movements to 22,500.

Lelystad is owned by the same group that owns Amsterdam’s main airport, Schiphol, and has sought to develop it as a way to ease congestion at the busy airline hub by providing an alternative for business aviation traffic. The runway extension work is awaiting budgetary approval from Schiphol, which, like most European airports, has suffered a dip in income during the downturn in air transport demand.

The existing runway at Lelystad is just over 3,900 feet long and it has an NDB approach for IFR operations. There are plans to activate an already-installed ILS by the end of this year and the airport has ICAO Category 5 emergency fire coverage. Standard opening hours at Lelystad are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, but they can be extended from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on request.

Lelystad is located about 25 miles northeast of Amsterdam. From a nearby rail station, the journey into the city center takes just 35 minutes and the drive can take as little as 30 minutes except during rush hours. Schiphol is actually closer to downtown but it is far more congested and business aircraft have to operate from a remote terminal on the east side of the airport. Lelystad also is conveniently located for cities in the east of the Netherlands and to several resorts on the North Sea coast.

The airport has a private terminal with lounges for passengers and crew. There is also a hotel and restaurant at the site.

Construction is now under way for a new large hangar that eventually will be able to take aircraft up to the size of the Boeing Business Jet. Other new hangars are being built to accommodate an aircraft painting operation run by the Dutch company Quality Aircraft Painting Services, which is part of the STTS group.
Handling services are provided by the airport itself or by independent company AIS. Airport managing director Lex Oude Weernink told AIN that he is keen to attract other business aviation service companies to Lelystad (Booth No. 597).     oꆱ