The summer may have passed but the staffing issues at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport have not. The airport is implementing new passenger caps that will restrict the number of travelers passing through the European hub until at least the end of October.

Following a shortfall in security staff, Schiphol is cutting the number of locally departing passengers by 18 percent a day — or to 54,500 people daily in September, and 57,000 in October — through October 31, Schiphol said Friday. And, the operator of Schiphol warned, additional capacity restrictions could be in place through the end of the year.

In 2019, Schiphol handled an average of 196,458 total arriving and departing passengers a day — including both local and transit travelers — according to airport data.


“This decision first and foremost is bad news for passengers and for airlines,” Royal Schiphol Group Chief Operating Officer Hanne Buis said. “Nevertheless, the decision taken is necessary with the safety of passengers and employees in mind.”

Schiphol is not alone in extending capacity restrictions beyond the summer. London’s Heathrow airport is also keeping summer caps in place through the end of October. However, London’s Gatwick airport, after facing its own issues over the peak holiday period, lifted its restrictions at the end of August.

KLM, the largest airline at Schiphol, said Friday that the news on short notice was “disappointing,” and that the new cap would have “far-reaching consequences for our passengers, colleagues and the national and international reputation of Schiphol and therefore KLM.”

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