Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) to guide regular air traffic around military training areas in Dutch airspace during Frisian Flag 

As from today (2 October) up until 13 October 2023, fighter jets and military helicopters from various countries will be flying in specially designated sections of Dutch airspace during the air force exercise which is taking place under the name of 'Frisian Flag'. 

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Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) is working closely together with military air traffic control and partners to facilitate this large-scale international exercise and to ensure that regular air traffic from and to airports in the Netherlands can continue to fly. 

"We have been preparing carefully for this large-scale international exercise for well over a year", explains Stephanie Hoogeveen, Impact Special Events on Airspace coordinator at LVNL. "Our task is to make sure that sections of the airspace are closed to regular air traffic so that the military can carry out the exercises. We also have to make sure that our air traffic controllers are properly prepared when it comes to guiding regular air traffic around the closed sections of airspace. We are informing airline companies so that they can take this into account in their flight schedules.” The following video gives an insight into what exactly is involved.

Air traffic control in training areas

Air traffic control in training areas

LVNL guides regular air traffic around military training areas in Dutch airspace during the Frisian Flag

During the Frisian Flag exercise, sections of Dutch airspace will be closed to regular air traffic. Aircraft departing from and arriving at Schiphol and other airports in the Netherlands will have to fly around these closed-off areas. This will be the case on weekdays from approximately 09:00 – 16:30 above the North Sea, from the Dutch Wadden Islands across to Denmark and above the provinces of Friesland and Groningen. From 9 October up to and including 13 October the exercise will also include a section of airspace above the provinces of Drenthe and Noord-Overijssel. The airspace will continue to be open to police helicopters and air ambulances. 

Integration of civil and military air traffic control 

Preparations are underway to integrate civil and military air traffic control in the future. The air traffic control service provided to military aircrafts will then become LVNL's responsibility. As a result, LVNL will play an even greater role in preparations for military exercises in Dutch airspace in the future, and LVNL and its partners will be helping to keep Dutch airspace sufficiently accessible and create optimal conditions for the military to fulfil its task of defending the country. 

More information (in Dutch) about the Frisian Flag exercise can be found at: