The airport is looking for new revenue streams
Groningen Airport Eelde is busy looking at new possibilities and therefore also at new revenues, having been a loss-making enterprise for an incredibly long time. The airport has come up with a new idea to try and raise money: by asking Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management to give the airport the opportunity to handle military traffic.
In addition, there should be more room for training flights with jet aircraft and large traffic,
which the airport expects to be able to largely eliminate the annual operating deficit. Aside from making the airport money, it would also fill the skies above the Northern Netherlands with military planes.
As reported by RTV Drenthe. Though armed flights might be unlikely, the airport wants more training flights using jets. The average amount of noise put out by a commercial jet engine is about 120-140 decibels, but these are covered by noise regulations.
Both Eelde airport and Maastricht airport are financed by their surrounding provinces and municipalities. If both airports are seen as airports of national importance, the national government must also contribute to this, say the two airports.
As part of this, Eelde has asked Minister Nieuwenhuizen for more ‘options’: not only military planes but also training flights with jets and large commercial aircraft. The northern airport is increasingly becoming the training place for pilots in the Netherlands, with both the KLM Flight Academy and Martinair Academy using it for flights. At the moment, though, these flights utilise small single and twin-propeller planes, rather than either fighter jets or heavy-lift aircraft.
“Previously, training flights with jet aircraft were not possible because of the noise they produce,” said spokesperson Lizette van Dijken of Groningen Airport Eelde. “But now these jets are much quieter. This gives a lot of possibilities.”
Though having an ‘international’ airport is a source of pride for many officials in the North, perhaps the huge amounts of money spent on Eelde might be better used in providing better connections to the rest of the Netherlands.