Technology Base and Royal NLR bet on Twente Airport for innovative and sustainable aviation

Business campus Technology Base and the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Center (NLR) are intensifying their cooperation to further develop the possibilities at Twente Airport as a test and innovation airport. Two contracts have now been signed on behalf of NLR and Technology Base that give shape to this. These are a multi-year lease for office and working space on behalf of NLR and a cooperation contract giving Twente Airport access to NLR's high-quality knowledge and expertise. Both parties see the opportunities that the transition in aviation offers for Twente Airport to contribute to sustainable aviation.

Aviation must reinvent itself to be climate neutral by 2050. This requires innovations in all aspects of aviation and calls for extensive experimentation and testing programs that in all likelihood cannot be carried out at regular busy airports. Twente Airport can provide this space because of the lack of scheduled flights. But that is not the only reason. The ideal spacious location of the airport and the available infrastructure are also reasons for Technology Base and NLR to join forces and intensify knowledge exchange. NLR is also opening a satellite office at Twente Airport. Jan Schuring, director of Technology Base and acting director of Twente Airport explains the added value: "Our airport can occupy a central position in the Netherlands as a breeding ground for making national and international aviation more sustainable, which is needed more than ever before."

Key role in innovation and testing

NLR conducts test programs for several clients, making it the ideal and reliable partner for Technology Base to convert opportunities into results. Conversely, NLR sees opportunities offered by Twente Airport. "The well-maintained and long runway, the large open space, the current existing infrastructure, the airspace and especially the strategic location makes Twente Airport unique in the Netherlands," states NLR's Business Manager and intended site manager Roland Slager. "The testing, validation and certification of, for example, new forms of mobility such as Urban Air Mobility, improved aerodynamic forms, innovative materials, alternative propulsion but also new ground infrastructure and flight procedures, as was recently carried out at Twente Airport for the DREAMS project with approach flights, can be done well at the airport. The combination of such a unique airport and the companies present at the high-tech business park and associated companies in the Eastern Netherlands offers prospects for NLR in the future." 

Twente Airport is working on its future

After a loss-making 2020, Twente Airport used the year 2021 to establish a realistic future perspective with positive operations. NLR plays an important role in this. These and other opportunities are currently being worked out together and presented to the board of Technology Base in March 2022.

Credits photo: Royal NLR
NLR has conducted braking tests on a wet runway at Twente Airport in the past. The PH-LAB was used to test how aircraft brakes react after heavy rainfall.

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