'When I started, I received a lot of help from colleagues, and they showed me what a unique workplace Schiphol is.'

Publication date: 24 April 2024 I Reading time: Minute
Schiphol is a dynamic workplace, where strategic projects are of great importance for the development of the airport. And that is exactly what Leon deals with every day as project owner of terminal projects. 'I am responsible for the management and coordination of projects that take place in the airport terminal. My position is both strategic and operational, which makes the work versatile and varied.' And the best thing about his job? That he contributes to Schiphol's big ambitions. 

Safety science 
'I have a background in safety science and public administration, and I've gained a lot of experience in risk management. For example, I worked at Rijkswaterstaat, where I was involved in large-scale civil engineering projects. Because I wanted to do more with my public administration background, I started looking around for something new about 5 years ago and came across the project owner vacancy. I think that Schiphol appeals to many people's imagination. For me, Royal Schiphol Group is an organisation where you can make a difference. I had an introduction period and was given an extensive trial assignment: an investment proposal that I had to understand in terms of important project aspects. I thought this was a fun test and it also gave me a better idea of the position. This immediately showed me that Schiphol Group is a professional organisation, where the people really know what they're doing. 

'Everyone within Schiphol Group is very interested in each other and the well-being of the organisation.' 

Facilitating decision-making 
'As a project owner, I am involved in project management and administrative matters. Every day I facilitate decision-making processes, request budgets and coordinate various projects and programmes within the terminal. My days are often filled with meetings with various parties and programme boards. My week often starts with the weekly kick-offs of various programmes and projects. I also have project days that are completely dedicated to one specific project. Then we really make progress.'   

'It is great to contribute to the renovation of the lounges, tackling overdue maintenance and making the terminal more sustainable.'

Multi-year maintenance programme 
'When I started at Schiphol Group, I was given a warm welcome. Colleagues from different departments and teams were there for me. Everyone's happy to give you a tour or show you around the airport. In the projects that I set up and manage, I often work with the same people, so we are well attuned to each other. For example, I am currently working on the renovation of rest areas and employee sanitary facilities. In this way, we improve the working conditions of people in the operation. We notice that this really has an impact on the people on the work floor. I am also responsible for the multi-year maintenance programme in the terminal. That is one of the most important areas of attention now. It includes the maintenance of lifts, moving walkways, lighting, air treatment systems and passenger sanitary facilities. Schiphol Group has invested less in replacement maintenance in recent years. Because we are now catching up, this requires enormous organisational effort so that the terminal can be brought back up to standard. I'm very proud of the organisation we've built up over the past 5 years to do all this maintenance.' 

Big ambitions 
'Schiphol Group has big ambitions. And I can contribute to them with my projects. My colleagues from Strategy & Airport Planning are creating a multi-year strategy, in which various projects are being rolled out. For example, we want to be completely gas-free by 2030. There are parts of the terminal that still use a lot of gas and, as project owner, I therefore set up a project. This is a great ambition that we are all working towards. Without project owners, many projects would be left behind. By managing projects and decision-making, I am an extension of the business unit and senior management. The project owner smooths out the wrinkles for a project team. This way, we can continue to build projects.'