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Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Holland

August 2nd, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Schiphol (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM) (municipality Haarlemmermeer) is the Netherlands' main airport.

Schiphol aims to be a European mainport, competing in passenger and cargo throughput with Heathrow International Airport in London, UK, Frankfurt International Airport in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, France.

In 2004, Schiphol ranked fourth in Europe in terms of passenger traffic with 42,541,000 passengers, behind London Heathrow (67,344,000), Paris Charles de Gaulle (51,260,000) and Frankfurt International Airport (51,098,000).

Schiphol has 5 main runways, plus 1 used mainly by general aviation aircraft. The "fifth runway" (really the sixth) was completed in 2003. Plans have already been made for a seventh runway.

The airport is built as one large terminal split into three large departure halls, the most recent having been completed in 1994, which converge again once airside. There are plans for further terminal expansion.

Because of the intense traffic and high landing and parking fees at Schiphol, more and more holiday-carriers have moved some of their flights to smaller airports, such as Groningen, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Maastricht.

Schiphol is the home base of KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), Martinair and Transavia, and a hub for Northwest Airlines.

Schiphol has large shopping areas as a source of revenue and as an additional attractant to air-carrier passengers. Schiphol Plaza is the shopping centre before customs, hence not only for air travellers, but also for people who just change train here, etc. There is a regular-size supermarket, Food Village, that is open until midnight seven days a week.

Schiphol is the world's lowest major commercial airport. The Schiphol ATC tower, with a height of 101 m, was the tallest in the world when constructed in 1991. Its base is actually 5 m below sea level.

Schiphol also has its own mortuary, where deceased people can be handled and kept before departure or after arrival.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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