Amsterdam Episode Summary


Meet our training pilot for this series as we take a look at the layout of Amsterdam Schipol Airport, the various gate areas and why it has such an extensive runway system.


In this episode, we learn why Schiphol has such an extensive runway layout and how it used in real life, how crossing active runways is avoided and the reason why the infamous ‘Polderbaan’ runway has a taxi time almost as long as many of the flights that use it!


Here we learn how gate operations work at Schipol, along with the famous TSAT and why you don’t want to miss it! Ever wondered what those weird diagonal lines on the ground are on the taxiway? We’ll show you. You’ll learn about Schiphol's clockwise/anti-clockwise taxi directions as well as taxi routings and which intersections you can expect for takeoff.


It’s time to depart and here we talk you through the SID (standard instrument departures) at Amsterdam. Even though there are a lot of them, they are all handled in pretty much the same way. As well as learning about the common shortcuts offered by ATC as well as the usual cleared flight levels, we learn about the continuation SIDS that are unique to Schipol. We then demonstrate two different departures, one in the Q400 and another in a heavy 747.


It’s time to look at the arrivals at Schiphol, with there being three main arrival points at the end of each STAR (standard arrival). If you arrive at night, expect your airline to pay a fine and fly the RNAV NIGHT s Schiphol has what is known as a ‘soft curfew’. We show you how to fly this fully managed noise sensitive approach in the 777, trying to use idle thrust as much as possible. We also then cover daytime vectored ATC approaches including common descent clearances, speeds and how to vector yourself onto final. Many approaches to Schipol are also directed to the nearby SPY VOR and we demonstrate this in the Airbus A320.


Having landed safely, it’s now time to taxi back to the stand. Here we’ll cover standard taxi routes and a look at what to expect at the parking position, as well as the various types of docking systems in use and why accurate parking is a must! Finally we take a look at the potential traps that lie in wait on the various runways and taxiways so that you can deliver your passengers home safely. Plus, James tells us about the 777 crew that almost put their main gear in the grass!