Schiphol is the Netherlands' main airport. Located south of Amsterdam, Schiphol aims to be a European mainport, competing in passenger and cargo throughput with London, Frankfurt and Paris.
Schiphol started early last century as a military airbase, consisting only of a few barracks and a mudpool serving as platform/runways. When civil aircraft started to make use of the field, it was often called Schiphol-les-bains.
Currently Schiphol features 4 main runways, plus 1 used mainly by general aviation aircraft. In the near future, an extra runway will be built to reduce delays and environmental strain.
Because of the intense traffic at Schiphol, more and more holiday-carriers move some of their flights to smaller, nearby airports, such as Eelde, Rotterdam and Beek.
Schiphol is the home base of KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines), Martinair and Transavia.