The ministry of Defence wants to resurrect an old flight path
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The resurrected route would allow the ‘stealth fighters’ to travel at just 75-metres above ground level- which is against existing rules governing noise pollution, as reported in the Friesch Dagblad. The route is referred to as ’10A’, and zooms over Anjum, via Drachten and to Meppel. In 2002, the then-Secretary of State Cees van der Knaap took the route out of service thanks in part to the actions of a local action-committee, which drew attention to the noise caused by such a route.
Only a single year after Van der Knaap’s decision, lobbying began to re-open the route. One of the arguments was that since the original decision a further choice had been made to increase the noise limit on the only other overland low-altitude route (route 10 over Emmen, Coevorden, and Almelo).
The Province of Friesland is set against re-opening the route, having recently asked for it to be scrapped in perpetuity, in concert with an upcoming airspace review. In reaction to this request, the government instead said that it is a goal to have route 10A re-opened. No reasoning was presented, nor did the ministry of Defence respond to questions from the Friesch Dagblad.
In any case, the Province is unhappy, and wrote a letter to the upper house of the Dutch parliament saying: “the F-35 makes more noise than an F-16, and the route goes over Nature 2000 reserves and silent reserves.”
The routes have a corridor of around 3.7km (two nautical miles). In order to re-open route 10A, the ministry must apply for a permit, as the route goes over various nature reserves.
Image via the Dutch ministry for Defence.