Test flights NLR at Twente Airport

Starting September 28, approach flights will be carried out around Twente Airport for two to three weeks. These flights will be carried out as part of the European project DREAMS with, among others, the Royal NLR - Netherlands Aerospace Center. This project investigates alternative ways for aircraft to approach a runway.

The European project DREAMS sees alternative ways to land - which involve steeper approach paths and shifting the runway threshold (the place where the aircraft first hits the runway) - as a possible future solution that is less environmentally damaging, reduces noise pollution and contributes to a safe capacity increase of landing aircraft at an airport. The study uses precise satellite navigation technology for this purpose with a ground station that transmits signals for the aircraft to fly said approaches. 

Most of the flights are performed by NLR's research aircraft: a small business jet with measuring equipment on board, the Cessna Citation. This will be used to test and calibrate the experimental ground system. On several days, the aircraft will approach the runway several times and then take off again. In addition, on one day, two larger passenger aircraft from TUI and from Lufthansa will also perform a number of flights.

What will happen

  • Starting September 28, three types of aircraft will perform multiple approach flights at Twente Airport. This will involve investigating different situations for a landing at the airport.
  • The aircraft will approach the runway from the southwest (see the map below and attached). NLR's research aircraft will then perform a so-called touch and go (where the aircraft briefly touches the runway) or continue its flight via a go around (tens of meters above the runway). After several flights, the aircraft will also land in between. Passenger aircraft will only perform go arounds.

When will which aircraft fly?

The schedule for the flights during the period September 28 through October 8 is as follows:

  • Sept. 28 through Oct. 8: an NLR Cessna Citation with a total of 200 to 250 approach flights;
  • October 5 or 6: a TUI Boeing 737 and a Lufthansa Airbus A319 with approximately 10 approach flights each;

Note: In order to conduct the research properly, NLR is dependent on weather conditions. If weather conditions are not suitable, flights will be made at a different time. In that case, the period of conducting the flights will be extended, no later than October 15.

Flights will take place on weekdays (not weekends).

The current daily schedule can be found on the NLR website from Sept. 28: https://www.nlr.nl/testvluchten-twenteairport/

What this means for residents of nearby communities

Twente Airport is a quiet airport with relatively few flight movements. The output of these flights remains within Twente Airport's permitted annual noise allowance. However, we are well aware that due to this special situation, local residents and residents in nearby municipalities may hear more aircraft noise than usual. NLR strives to keep any nuisance caused by the temporary flights to a minimum, but cannot prevent more aircraft noise from being heard than is normally the case around Twente Airport.

Twente Airport

The innovative Twente Airport (part of Technology Base) is suitable for testing manned and unmanned systems. The nearly three kilometer long runway and the relatively quiet airspace offer all the space needed to test innovations safely in practice at an early stage. Partly by facilitating tests such as the one conducted next week by NLR, Twente Airport can grow into a breeding ground and testing ground for the necessary sustainability of aviation.

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