In recent months, Omroep Flevoland and Follow the Money have asked all relevant authorities and Royal Schiphol Group how much they have spent on Lelystad Airport so far. The reason for this is the Flevopitch of November last year, the project for which the public could put forward a financial subject that had to be thoroughly investigated.
The idea of former KLM captain Ruud Holswilder received the most votes. “I hear that as much as 200 million euros has already been spent, but I don’t know if it is correct. Because I have nowhere to check the figures ”, says Holswilder.
The research results in a higher amount. We have divided the expenses into three main parts. Firstly, the investments that have been made or planned at and around the airport itself. Second, the cost of all the investigations required for the enlargement and the hours spent by officials on this. And thirdly: the costs of improving the accessibility of the airport.
Requesting and analyzing all the figures took a lot of time. All parties involved cooperated extensively. We did have to ask for clarification a few times, because answers caused misunderstandings or because different amounts were regularly mentioned for the same item. Until the last moment, there was a discussion with Lelystad Airport about whether or not the costs of postponement should be included. Where necessary, we have corrected our calculation.
Text continues below the interactive graphs
What expenses were incurred for the airport itself?
Most of the money went to the airport itself. As the owner, Royal Schiphol Group has invested 90.7 million euros in the airport. The new terminal cost 18.8 million euros, the extension of the runway from 1,250 meters to 2.7 kilometers (including run-off lanes) plus a new taxiway 31.9 million euros. 14 million euros of land was purchased from the Police Traffic Institute for the runway extension.
The € 90.7 million includes expenditure of € 15.5 million in total for the raising of the control tower and the expansion of the fire service with a new barracks and two special fire-fighting vehicles, the so-called crash tenders. The fire service personnel partly seconded from Schiphol have been operational since the end of 2019 and also perform various maintenance jobs at the airport.
Air traffic control is investing 26.4 million
Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) has also invested in the airport: a total of 26.4 million euros. Of this amount, 7.6 million was spent on new equipment for the navigation system of aircraft, which is required to receive commercial aircraft.
Lelystad Airport had to be integrated into the existing national and international airspace, for which new routes had to be designed. Since 2014, 18.8 million has been spent on the Air Traffic Control Lelystad Airport project and on training and personnel costs. LVNL has charged part of this (8 tons) to Lelystad Airport. By far the largest part (19 million in total) has been paid for by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management from the fund of the European air traffic control Eurocontrol.
Not only LVNL provides air traffic control for Lelystad, but also the Air Force Command of the Ministry of Defense. After the opening, they accompany aircraft from Schiphol East during the approach and departure phase of Lelystad Airport. Although the airport is not yet open to major air traffic, the Ministry of Defense has already incurred 1.8 million in costs. These too have been declared at Lelystad Airport.
Traffic controllers cost 365,000 per month
Air traffic control has been introduced at Lelystad Airport since 7 November 2019. People from LVNL are seated on the tower. Although there are no commercial aircraft yet, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen wants the air traffic controllers to gain experience so that the airport is ready for opening. The air traffic controllers on the tower now only supervise general aviation, although Nieuwsuur ruled this summer that they would keep their fingers crossed. Deployment for General Aviation costs 365,000 euros per month. So 3.6 million euros has been spent on this up to the beginning of September. Together, investments and operating costs of LVNL amount to thirteen percent of all costs.
Costs due to delay opening 10.1 million
The costs for the airport are therefore not complete. The operation of Lelystad Airport also costs money every year. There has been a loss of 19.9 million euros since 2009. Only in 2010 and 2011 did the airport make a small profit.
One of the reasons for the loss is that since 2017, the millions of investments in the runway, taxiway and platform have been depreciated on an accounting basis.
“I can’t check the numbers anywhere”
Furthermore, the opening which has been postponed several times causes costs. Because there are no holiday flights yet and there is therefore no income from landing fees and other charges, the airport and LVNL are not yet recouping their investments. On the other hand, money is saved because there are no costs for maintenance and monitoring.
Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen wrote in 2018 that postponement has a negative effect of 4 million euros per year. Bottom line, Lelystad Airport calculates the cost of postponement from 2018 to November this year at 10.1 million euros. The airport does not report what the delay will cost until November 2021.
Nevertheless, these costs should not be included in the total expenditure, the airport emphasizes. The 10.1 million in lost income and lower costs must be seen in the context of Lelystad Airport’s original business case. This is a ‘theoretical’ amount and not an actual loss, although the amount will appear again at a later time.
If we add together all investments already made, planned investments and operating costs within the gates of the airport, we arrive at 148.9 million euros.
In the next article that appears on Thursday, we look at how much was spent on the piles of research, reports and official support. An extensive financial article about the Flevopitch with all expenses can be read on the Follow the Money website.
Do you have a tip or comment? Send the editors of Omroep Flevoland a message on 06 – 52 52 4891 or send an email: [email protected]!