Miscommunication between a Spanish airline pilot and Dutch ground control caused a hijack scare at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport today.

The Dutch Defence Ministry sent two F-16 fighters to intercept the plane after suspecting a hijacking, a Dutch military police spokesman told Reuters.

Dutch police said the security alert was triggered when radio contact with the plane was lost, Dutch news agency ANP reported.

The plane, which was flying from Malaga with about 180 passengers on board, was surrounded by Dutch security forces on landing at Schiphol airport.

Police then boarded and searched the aircraft.

A spokeswoman for the Spanish carrier Vueling said there was never any danger.

"There was a lack of communication between the pilot and the tower and the airport has activated the security protocol," she said.

Separately, authorities evacuated parts of the airport earlier after workers found an unexploded World War II bomb.

The discovery forced airlines to delay and cancel some flights.

The German bomb was discovered buried underground near the transport hub's busy Terminal C, which handles flights to most major European destinations, the Dutch Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Schiphol cleared and closed Terminal C, parts of Terminal D and one landing strip, an airport spokeswoman said.

A handful of European flights were cancelled, while several dozen were delayed.

The 500kg explosive, uncovered during construction work, is to be taken to a safe location and dismantled, the ministry said.

Schiphol was a military airport during WWII.

It was bombed both by the Germans at the start of the conflict and by Allied forces during the fighting.

Schiphol is Europe's fifth busiest airport and handled about 45m passengers in 2010.