Flooded toilets, bamboo on floors everywhere, smart and economical heating system. The new ‘berth A’ should become the most sustainable part of Schiphol Airport.
But this will take some time. The corona crisis pushed the delivery date from the end of 2020 to 2023. And now the completion of berth A, KLM’s major new port of Schiphol in particular, has now been delayed.
The Schiphol Group must find a new contractor to finish the pavement. The group terminated the contract with the two construction companies, the Dutch ballast company Needam and the Turkish company TAV Construction. The Turkish company is considered a specialist in the field of aviation and has built, among other things, Istanbul Airport and the main airports in the Middle East.
The result released by the companies on Monday has been in the air for some time. Presenting half-year numbers last summer, Schiphol manager Dick Pinshop said he had “resolute, tough conversations” with builders about slow construction progress.
The two sides don’t say exactly what the biggest problems are. An airport spokesperson said there appeared to be “differences of opinion on various topics”, “including the question of who is responsible for which part of the design”.
Ballast Nedam stated on their website: “Due to a disagreement over the design, major problems arose with the project, which led to the current situation with the Schiphol group.” Trade magazine kubo He writes that Ballast Nedam had a so-called “build-only” contract: the design of the pier is not a joint responsibility, but the responsibility of the customer.
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Rare construction stops
Often a large construction project like Pier A is not resolved. Last year, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management decided Zuidasdok . project to re-spend. Excavation of the A10 tunnel near Amsterdam could be one billion euros more expensive than planned.
Schiphol says the airport has not waived the contract with the construction companies. “The financial arrangements do not apply,” the spokesman said. Pier A will be much more expensive than initially planned. The extent of the budget overrun is still not clear. But in the sector there is talk of doubling the original budget of 400 million euros.
The airlines, KLM leading the way, fear they will have to pay higher construction costs than Pier A. Schiphol want airport fees, which it charges airlines, increased by 37 percent over three years. According to Schiphol, the airport will lose revenue of up to 1.6 billion euros in 2020 and 2021. KLM, easyJet and other airlines have started proceedings with the Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority against the high prices.
With the new berth (400m long, 3 storey high and 57,000m2 of berth), Schiphol will have ten new gates. The airport is now preparing to conduct a new tender to complete berth A. Once this procedure is completed, new planning can be undertaken.
A version of this article also appeared in NRC on the morning of November 30, 2021