Schiphol CEO resigns after summer of chaos.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport chief executive Dick Benschop announced Thursday he was quitting his role following months of chaos at one of Europe’s largest transport hubs, plagued by long queues and baggage handling issues.
“I’ve done my very best, but we’re not there yet. I do hope it gets better soon,” Benschop said in a statement released by the airport.
“A lot of attention, and criticism, has been directed towards the way in which Schiphol is tackling the problems and my responsibility as CEO,” he said.
“On my own initiative, I am giving Schiphol the space to make a new start. I do not want the attention on me as an individual to become an obstacle for Schiphol.
“Managing this company was a great honour.”
Benschop, a former politician, will remain in place while Schiphol’s supervisory board searches for a successor.
Like many airports around the world, Schiphol has struggled to keep pace with the demand in travel this summer.
The airport was one of the first to impose a cap on passenger numbers in an attempt to control operational problems.
Passengers have complained of long queues stretching through the airport even after the peak travel period had passed.
Along with the airport’s operational challenges, Schiphol also faces the longer-term issue of government proposals to cap capacity at the airport in a bid to tackle noise pollution.
That could see annual flights reduced at Schiphol by 12%, and by 20% compared with an originally-envisaged growth plan for the airport.