State Secretary Barbara Visser, of defence, couldn’t give a definitive ‘no’, though
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Flight-route ’10A’, which could see fighter jets fly just 75 metres above the ground, was officially shuttered in 2002, but not definitively taken out of use. The Dutch ministry of Defence had previously mooted the idea of re-opening the route, causing consternation across the North. As reported by the Friesch Dagblad.
Yesterday in the Dutch parliament various members lamented the possible re-opening of the route. John Kertsens (Labour) noted to Minister Visser that “the F35 has not been determined as the quietest horse in the stable.” Away from farm-analogies, Sadet Karabulut (Socialist Party) supported the point, saying that the “roaring” F-35 makes an unbearable noise, and questioned if the Minister is losing contact with her locality.
Minister Visser admitted that a Ministry of Defence note saying that the route would be re-opened was “formulated too quickly”. She said that the ministry had been busy trying to gain environmental permits for its flight routes since 2008; and that an environmental permit has not been applied for with Route 10A.
Visser could not give a definitive ‘no’ to questions about the route to be re-opened. She has said that she would first like to look into whether the airforce itself needs the practice space, before proceeding. Minister Visser did say, however, that the chance of opening the route was “very small”, and would be considered only in response to the needs of the airforce. The route was initially closed in 2002 was because of noise complaints around Drachten air base. “The situation from 2002 has not been improved”, she said.
Separately, a Dutch parliament committee reported that the new F35 planes may have some technical issues. An American report has said that there are around 900 defects in the plane, with around 13 rated as ‘high risk’. In addition, the front-mounted rotating canon cannot shot accurately at this moment.
Image via Samuel King Jr at af.mil