Lelystad Airport: the ghost airport that has cost €214 million (so far!)

Lelystad Airport was intended to function as a sister airport to Schiphol. Certain holiday flights were to take off from the new airfield, but unfortunately due to a number of reasons, the building has yet to open.

So far, the building and upkeep of the airport has cost €214 million. These numbers follow research by Omroep Nederland and Follow the Money. The two research groups asked all the relevant authorities about the cost of the airport.

The reason for the investigation was due to an initiative called the Flevo-pitch. Through this initiative, the public could vote on what financial project they would like to see investigated — Lelystad Airport won.

This is not surprising given that the airport has been a cause of much consternation, especially amongst local residents. It is feared the airport will lower the value of the surrounding houses and increase pollution in the area.

A practice tower for air control

The research has revealed that the costs have gone towards the construction of the building, its infrastructure and the employment of air control personnel. Keeping the tower open has cost €365,000 a month.

Whilst the empty airport mostly plays host to hobby pilots and pilots in training, air traffic control personnel have been in the control tower since November 2019. This is so that they can gain experience and manage general aviation in the area.

Opening postponed

Initial hopes were that the airport would open in April 2018, but this did not happen for a number of reasons.

The opening of the airport was first postponed due to the nitrogen crisis. This was then followed by the coronavirus pandemic. The cost of postponement between November 2018 and November 2020 is expected to be 10.1 million euros.

The airport is now expected to open in November 2021.

Had you heard of Lelystad Airport before? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Magalhães/ Wikimedia Commons/ CC3.0

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


  1. Totally waste of money and only done because the politics demanded this. Other airports, which are not part of the Schiphol group, Groningen-Eelde Airport, Maastricht-Achen Airport and Eindhoven Airport (part of airbase) could handle the holiday lights without big investments. The airports can handle the required aircraft, refueling them and take care of the passengers for less hsndelingcodts then the Schiphol group. The other airports also can use the work and deliver the required workforce.


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