|Elevation AMSL||-12 ft / -4 m|
|Flevoland in the Netherlands|
Lelystad Airport (IATA: LEY, ICAO: EHLE) is an airport 3.5 NM (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) south southeast of the city of Lelystad in the Netherlands. It is the biggest general aviation airport in the Netherlands. The first flights were in 1971 and it became an official airport in 1973. Schiphol Group became owner of the airport in 1993. It is home to the aviation museum Aviodrome, which has a former KLM Boeing 747-300 on display.
In 1966 it was decided that the newly created Flevopolder required one central airport. A suitable location with room for future expansion was found to the south of Lelystad. The first flights from this location took place in 1971, but it was not until 1973 that it received official status as an airport.
At first Lelystad had grass taxi- and runways, but it was found that the clay could not support all the traffic, and tracks started to form. Because of the often poor condition of the terrain, the airport suffered from frequent closure. To resolve this problem, in 1978 the first of the taxiways was hardened and in 1981 the runway was hardened. In 1991 the runway length was increased to 1,250 metres (4,101 ft), to try to attract more business aircraft.
In 1993 the Schiphol Group became the owner of the airport. The Aviodrome museum moved to Lelystad Airport from Schiphol in 2003. Local flying school AIS Flight Academy started an airline in 2009, AIS Airlines, and is still headquartered at Lelystad Airport, although they do not operate any scheduled flights from Lelystad.
Because of the museum, various aviation events are frequently held at the airport.
An expansion of the airport is planned which would allow mainly budget airlines, holiday charters and regional airlines using aircraft such as the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320 series to operate from Lelystad. The expansion would include a longer runway, 2,100 metres (6,890 ft) long, and facilities to handle the bigger aircraft and approximately 2 up to 7 million passengers. However concerns regarding aircraft noise from local communities, a complicated airspace structure and a slower growth of traffic at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which it is to function as a reliever airport to, have delayed these plans.
On 13 June 2014, the draft decision "airport expansion Lelystad Airport" has become public and has been submitted to the Council of State for consultation. On 31 March 2015 permission was granted for the expansion. From 2018 Lelystad Airport can be used for international flights to southern and eastern parts of Europe, and Mediterranean countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Israel and Turkey.
As Lelystad is the biggest General Aviation airfield in the Netherlands, AOPA is concerned that commercial aviation will have a negative impact on the General Aviation users, and has proposed the construction of a new parallel runway south of the airport to improve traffic flow.
- EHLE – LELYSTAD/Lelystad. AIP from AIS the Netherlands, effective 2 March 2017
- Luchtvaartnieuws.nl (2011), Schiphol wil verder met ontwikkeling Lelystad Airport (Dutch only), article retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Niek Vernooij for Luchtvaartnieuws.nl - AOPA pleit voor parallelle baan op Lelystad Airport, article retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Uitbreiding Lelystad Airport loopt jaar vertraging op NRC, 29 november 2016 (Dutch)
- "Budget airline Ryanair pledges to use Lelystad airport, if the price is right". Dutch News.nl. 28 October 2016.
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