When Amsterdam Airport Schiphol first opened in 1916 it was nothing more than a few little wooden structures placed on a muddy stretch of reclaimed land in the Haarlemmermeer. However, its forefather, Jan Dellaert, was a pioneer who was convinced that an airport should always bear in mind the needs of future generations.
He was a man who believed in change and progress and was convinced that teamwork, partnerships and alliances were key to building a strong airport. 100 years later the major European hub airport epitomises his belief and is surely beyond what Jan Dellaert once envisioned a century ago.
At last night’s Saturday reception, the informal opening to this year’s World Routes in Chengdu, China, the airport’s Andre Van Den Berg, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, highlighted how from modest roots the facility has grown to welcome over 58 million passengers annually, with 1.6 million tonnes of cargo passing through, and where 65,000 people come to work every day.
“We are a hub, where innovation and excellence are always top of mind, and where we strive to be one of the most sustainable airports in the world,” he told Routesonline on the sidelines of the networking event. “Connecting the Netherlands is what we've been doing for 100 years. The world is both our hinterland and front garden. We make connections between the Netherlands and key international regions.”
“Passengers, business people, cargo and ideas reach our country through Schiphol, or head out into the world from here. They build connections: economic ones, but certainly some emotional ones too. We call that connecting to compete and connecting to complete. Through Schiphol, you can connect with other world citizens, have unforgettable experiences, and pioneer,” he added.
Alongside, this great video animation on development at the airport, above, you can take a journey through time in the airport’s virtual museum (available in Dutch only). Here you will find all kinds of special stories, photos and short films from the rich, 100-year history of the airport. From the first jet aircraft to the opening of the Polder runway (Runway 18R-36L). From an air-travelling dog to the arrival of the Beatles. The items in the online museum are taken from Schiphol’s own archive, from the Amsterdam Museum, from the Amsterdam City Archives and from the public domain.