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Schipol AirportAmsterdam Airport Schiphol (Dutch: Luchthaven Schiphol) (IATA: AMS, ICAO: EHAM) is the main international airport of the Netherlands, located 20 minutes (4.9 NM (9.1 km; 5.6 mi)) southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.


It is the fourth busiest airport in Europe in terms of passengers.

Schiphol is the primary hub for KLM and its regional affiliate KLM Cityhopper as well as for Arkefly, Corendon Dutch Airlines, Martinair and Transavia.com. The airport also serves as a European hub for Delta Air Lines and as a base for Vueling. Schiphol is considered to be an airport city. The airport's official English name, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, reflects the original Dutch word order (Luchthaven Schiphol).

Schiphol opened on 16 September 1916 as a military airbase, with a few barracks and a field serving as platform and runways. When civil aircraft started to use the field (17 December 1920) it was often called Schiphol-les-bains. The Fokker aircraft manufacturer started a factory near Schiphol airport in 1919.

By 1940, Schiphol had four asphalt runways at 45-degree angles, all 1,020 metres (3,350 ft) or less. One was extended to become today's runway 4/22; two others crossed that runway at 52.312°N 4.800°E.

In 1967, Dutch designer Benno Wissing created signage for Schiphol Airport well known for its clear writing and thorough color-coding; to avoid confusion, he prohibited any other signage in the shades of yellow and green used. New wayfinding signage at Schiphol was designed in 1991 by Paul Mijksenaar.

Schiphol's name is derived from a former fortification named Fort Schiphol which was part of the Stelling van Amsterdam defence works. Before 1852, the Haarlemmermeer polder in which the airport lies was a large lake, in the shallow waters of which sudden violent storms could claim many ships. This was the main reason for reclaiming it. In English, Schiphol translates to 'Ship Grave', a reference to many ships lost in the area.

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