Minister and State Secretary mark cooperation between military and civil air traffic controllers

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Civiele en militaire luchtverkeersleiders werken vanaf nu schouder aan schouder vanaf Schiphol-Oost. Daarmee is de basis gelegd voor een efficiëntere benutting van het Nederlandse luchtruim. De samenwerking vanuit één operations room is tevens nodig voor de noodzakelijke nieuwe indeling van het Nederlandse luchtruim.


After years of preparation, the air traffic controllers of the Defense department’s Air Force Command (Commando Luchtstrijdkrachten, CLSK) moved to Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) at Schiphol-Oost. Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) and State Secretary Visser (Defense) paid a working visit to the updated operations room today. This shared civil-military location is one of the biggest changes ever in air traffic control in the Netherlands. It was financed in part by the Connecting Europe Facility of the European Union.


Having the two air traffic controls share a location contributes significantly to more efficient use of the airspace and as such lays a solid foundation for the reclassification of the Dutch airspace. From Schiphol-Oost, both civil and military air traffic up to a height of approximately 7.5 km will be handled via a single air traffic control system. For altitudes higher than this, the military air traffic control has already been integrated with Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) since April 2017. This means that the Netherlands now has two instead of three air traffic control centers.


During her visit, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen emphasized the great importance of good cooperation between the civil and military air traffic controllers: “The fact that the civil and military air traffic controllers are now working in the same room represents a major gain. The air traffic controllers in the Netherlands must deliver their top performance every day, and from now on they will be doing that side by side, in cooperation. The airspace is limited and we must utilize that space together optimally. This also represents a big step forward for the reclassification of the airspace, which we have been working hard on together.”


State secretary Visser believes the shared location is an excellent example of a military that actively works with others. “This shared location is the start of a close partnership between Defense and civil aviation. It is a cooperation that must guarantee for the Defense department that our exercise area in the airspace remains of adequate size. But it also ensures that civil aviation can use that airspace when Defense is not flying. A win-win situation, therefore. In order to officially allow the military organization to work at Schiphol-Oost, the reorganization still needs to be completed, on which efforts are currently under way.”


Michiel van Dorst (CEO of LVNL) and lieutenant general Dennis Luyt (Commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force) are proud of this close cooperation. Van Dorst: “The shared location is an important step forward in terms of improved cooperation in day-to-day operations and to facilitate developments in the future, including the reclassification of the airspace.”


Luyt: “The shared location ensures that we achieve safe, efficient and cost-effective airspace use above the Netherlands on the basis of strong teamwork. I am proud of our shared capacity for this transition, and of our professionalism.”


The military air traffic controllers remain part of the Air Operations Control Station of Air Force Command. After 70 years, the military air traffic controllers are back where military air traffic control in the Netherlands started, at Schiphol. The close cooperation with the military combat leadership, which will, for the time being, remain headquartered at the current location of the Air Operations Control Station in Nieuw-Milligen near Apeldoorn, will also remain intact.