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Groningen Airport Eelde (IATA: GRQ, ICAO: EHGG) is a minor international airport in the northeastern Netherlands. It is located near Eelde, 4.8 nautical miles (8.9 km; 5.5 mi) south of the city of Groningen.[1] In 2015, the airport handled 220,710 passengers. The airport is also the home base of the KLM Flight Academy, Noord Nederlandse Aero Club (NNAC) and General Enterprises.

Groningen Airport Eelde
Groningen Airport logo.svg
Luchtfoto Groningen Airport.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorGroningen Airport Eelde NV
ServesGroningen, Netherlands
LocationEelde, Drenthe
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL17 ft / 5 m
Coordinates53°07′30″N 06°35′00″E / 53.12500°N 6.58333°E / 53.12500; 6.58333
WebsiteGroningenAirport.nl
Map
GRQ is located in Netherlands
GRQ
GRQ
Location in the Netherlands
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 2,500 8,202 Asphalt
01/19 (closed) 1,500 4,921 Asphalt
Statistics (2017)
Passengers242,000 Increase
Aircraft movements27,000 Increase
Source: AIP from AIS the Netherlands,[1] CBS Statistics Netherlands[2]

The airport started under the name "Hakenkampsveld" in 1928 and was officially opened in 1931. It was renamed "Luchthaven Eelde" in 1933. During World War II, the German military occupied the airport. Since 1958, there are European destinations from the airport. Since 1988, the airport has been called Groningen Airport Eelde.

HistoryEdit

1920s–1930s: The First YearsEdit

Groningen Airport Eelde's (GAE) history can be traced back to 1927, when Hayo Hindriks, an ex-alderman of the municipality Eelde, approaches the KLM (without informing the community's council). He knew that the KLM would be interested in an air link between Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Groningen.[3]

On July 13, 1928, the community's council agrees on a proposal to allocate 'Hakenkampsveld', a 12 hectare terrain within the municipality of Eelde, as an airport. The airport was officially opened by mayor Jan Gerard Legro on May 23, 1931. 40,000 visitors watched the air show, which was held to celebrate the opening. On August 15 of the same year the first scheduled service between Eelde and Amsterdam/Schiphol started, which did not appear to be viable.[3]

In 1933, the airport's name was changed into "NV Luchthaven Eelde". Stockholders being the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe, the municipalities of Groningen, Eelde and Assen and the Chambers of Commerce and Factories for Groningen, Drenthe and the peat-colonies. Now there was money to expand the airport. At that time the airport's area covered 12 hectares. Furthermore, a new service between the airport and Amsterdam/Schiphol was set up.[3]

1940s: In and after World War IIEdit

 
The Irish Regiment of Canada salutes General Crerar during a review at the airport in 1945

During World War II, between 1940 and 1945, the airport was occupied by the German Military. However, the Airport's hangars were completely destroyed by Dutch soldiers, when they retreated from the militarily superior invaders. The occupation was a severe blow to the airport's promising expectations, but the airport played an important role in the war. During the occupation, the airport was expanded considerably by the Germans. Many hangars were built and the apron was expanded to accommodate fighter aircraft.[3]

Early 1945, the Germans abandoned their "Fliegerhorst". During the German retreat, a member of the local resistance, W.W. Krijthe, prevented the airport from being blown up, by cutting the explosives' ignition wires. In the summer of 1945 Canadian soldiers used the airport to store vehicles of the 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division.[3]

The Canadians called the site "Finitocamp"[4]

The airfield returned to the hands of the NV Luchtvaartterrein Noord-Nederland. The national government shouldered most of the cost of restoring the damaged drainage system in the airfield. In addition, the government subsidized further developments at the airport so that it could meet international standards and remain registered for aviation.[5]

The airport was appointed as an alternative airport for flights bound for Amsterdam/Schiphol, in 1948. To cater for these deviating aircraft, a new base plan had to be designed for the egalisation and drainage of the runways (with an 1,800 metres long main runway and a secondary measuring 1,500 metres), taxiways and apron. The new runways were finally ready for service in 1953, making the site an official aerodrome.

1950sEdit

On August 16, 1954, the Rijksluchtvaartschool (RLS) – or National Aviation Academy in English – moved to the airport from Gilze-Rijen. The KLM would acquire ownership of the RLS in 1991, becoming the KLM Flight Academy. In the course of the next two years after 1954, (amongst others) a flight theory school, the secondary and final flight education as well as other branches transferred to Eelde, making the Airport an important aviation training site.[3]

In 1956, the airport was renamed as "Luchthaven Eelde NV".[6] The official opening of the airport building complex took place the following year on May 15, by Prince Bernard.[3]

The first landing of a European aeroplane took place on July 13, 1958. Twelve passengers boarded the aircraft, making a trip to Mallorca for a fourteen days vacation. In the same year, a new air traffic control tower was taken into use.[3]

1960s–1970sEdit

 
An NLM Fokker F.27 Friendship on a national flight in March 1967 showing the terminal and facilities.

During the 1960s, the scheduled services were restored, initially, national flights operated by NLM. The airfield was seen to have the potential to operate usefully as a regional airport and it could play a role in the infrastructure of the northern part of the Netherlands. The "Study Committee for the Development of Eelde Airport" is established. The committee suggested to take a closer look at regional airports in other countries and see how they have developed. Eelde airport seemed to be a key part of a larger system of infrastructure in the region. Another finding was that aircraft noise is a bigger problem at Eelde than at similar airports. Therefore, a noise pollution committee was established.[7]

In 1977, a new passenger terminal opened and more parking space for cars was constructed. Adding to this, a bus link to the city of Groningen was established, improving the airport's accessibility. Furthermore, work started to expand the apron and adding a hangar. In the same year, the Dutch ministry of infrastructure and the environment published the Structural Plan for Civil Aerodromes. This plan stated that an expansion of the main runway by 500 metres should be taken into account. This would make flights of all aircraft types possible.

1980s–1990sEdit

 
Boeing 737-229 of Trans European Airways at the airport in 1988

During the period 1979−1982, the buildings housing the State Aviation Service (Rijksluchtvaartdienst) and the meteorological service were modernised. Adding to this, a new air traffic control tower was constructed.

The aerodrome's name was changed once again in 1988, becoming officially "Groningen Airport Eelde NV". This was decided because of the airport's international significance had steadily increased over the years.

With the airport becoming more crowded due to holiday flights, it was decided to join the two existing passenger halls together. This created a single departure hall capable of holding 200 passengers. The merge also resulted in an arrivals hall with a conveyor belt. As part of the project, a new car park was added as well. Groningen Airport Eelde received a sum of 2.5 million guilders for a new passage hall. This sum was donated by the European support fund ISP, which was granted by the province of Drenthe. This would finance almost one-third of the costs of the new hall.

In 1997, the Dutch government planned to stop financial support to most regional airports. Despite this, the airport was still entitled to 25 million guilders (about 11.3 million euros) for the expansion of its main runway. On November 12, 1999, the government agreed with the proposal to extend the runway, provided that the flying of training circuits by large aircraft be terminated.

2000s–2010sEdit

April 2000: the majority of the Dutch parliament had no objection against the runway extension, but due to changing environmental legislation and civil objection procedures, it would take 12 more years until the project was actually started.[3]

Ryanair started a scheduled service to its London Stansted base in 2003. This service attracted many passengers to the airport.[8] However, this service did not last long, Ryanair terminated the service in May 2004. One reason leading to this decision was the limited length of the main runway, limiting the aircraft's effective range and maximum load.[3]

Finally, the province's State of Council gave the final go-ahead for the runway extension on February 15, 2012. After this approval was given, Ryanair announced three new routes, returning to the airport after eight years.[3] The extended runway was put into service on April 24, 2013.[9] However once again Ryanair did not operate from Eelde for long, the last flight being in November 2014.[10]

In June 2014, UK low-cost carrier Flybe commenced a new year-round service to London-Southend. From March 2018 this service will be greatly expanded, from six to 18 flights per week.[11]

From 19 September 2016 Nordica started operating two flights a day between Groningen and Copenhagen.[12] In November 2018, Nordica announced it would close its base in Groningen by December, shutting down the year-round routes to Copenhagen an Munich as well as seasonal services to Ibiza and Nice.[13]

On 4 March 2019, flights to Copenhagen resumed, now carried out by AIS Airlines with 19-seat BAe Jetstream 32 aircraft.[14]

RunwaysEdit

Groningen Airport Eelde has two asphalt paved runways. Runway 05/23 measures 2,500 m × 45 m (8,202 ft × 148 ft), which has recently been extended from 1,800 meters. Runway 01/19 is shorter, measuring 1,500 m × 45 m (4,921 ft × 148 ft). Only runway 23 has a DME/ILS (localizer at 109,9 MHz, no markers).

Airlines and destinationsEdit

The following airlines operate services to/from Groningen Airport:[15]

AirlinesDestinations
AIS Airlines Copenhagen, Münster/Osnabrück
Corendon Airlines Seasonal: Antalya
Corendon Airlines Europe Seasonal: Heraklion
Corendon Dutch Airlines Seasonal: Bodrum (begins 21 April 2020)[16]
Flybe London–Southend
Seasonal Charter: Guernsey
Transavia Seasonal: Heraklion, Palma de Mallorca
TUI fly Netherlands Gran Canaria

StatisticsEdit

Top destinationsEdit

Most frequent flights from Groningen Airport Eelde (summer 2019)
Rank Destinations Frequency
(weekly)
Airline(s)
1   London (Southend) 10 BE
2   Copenhagen 10 IS
3   Heraklion 4 HV
4   Gran Canaria 2 OR
Most frequent flights from Groningen Airport Eelde (winter 2018/19)
Rank Destinations Frequency
(weekly)
Airline(s)
1   London (Southend) 18 BE
Busiest routes from Groningen Airport Eelde (2017)
Rank Airport Passengers
1   Gdansk, Poland 31,550
2   London (Southend), Great-Britain 27,000
3   Copenhagen, Denmark 24,600

Annual passenger and aircraft movementsEdit

From CBS Statistics Netherlands[2][17] and annual reports Groningen Airport Eelde[18][19][20]

Year Aircraft movements (change)[2][17] Passengers (change)[2][17] Passengers (change)
[inclusive transfer][21]
1997 85,781 83,151
1998 88,980 (  +4.0%) 114,160 ( +37.3%) 113,119 (  +30,4%)
1999 81,879 (  -8.0%) 90,168 ( -21.0%) 110,059 (  -2,7%)
2000 69,054 ( -15.7%) 78,266 ( -13.2%) 112,367 (  +2,1%)
2001 61,324 ( -11.2%) 94,220 ( +20.4%) 132,155 (  +17,6%)
2002 67,783 ( +10.5%) 107,466 ( +14.1%) 148,291 (  +12,2%)
2003 54,890 ( -19.0%) 137,607 ( +28.0%) 177,851 (  +20,0%)
2004 43,146 ( -21.4%) 119,218 ( -13.4%) 155,534 (  -12,6%)
2005 44,925 (  +4.1%) 122,794 (  +3.0%) 162,875 (  +4,7%)
2006 54,843 ( +22.1%) 129,012 (  +5.1%) 166,240 (  +2,1%)
2007 59,406 (  +8.3%) 135,726 (  +5.2%) 172,458 (  +3,7%)
2008 61,322 (  +3.2%) 148,949 (  +9.7%) 190,034 (  +10,2%)
2009 65,617 (  +7.0%) 136,044 (  -8.7%) 167,107 (  -12,1%)
2010 63,866 (  -2.7%) 122,659 (  -9.8%) 153,637 (  -8,1%)
2011 52,774 (  -17.3%) 114,327 (  -6.8%) 148,850 (  -3,2%)
2012 46,418 (  -12.0%) 180,812 (  +58.2%) 208,669 (  +40.2%)
2013 43,836 (  -5.7%) 176,212 (  -2.5%) 201,721 (  -3.3%)
2014 38,951 (  -11.1%) 169,369 (  -3.9%) 199,646 (  -1.0%)
2015 23,456 (  -39.8%) 180,879 (  +6.8%) 220,710 (  +10.6%)
2016 24,746 (  +5.5%) 152,451 (  +15.7%) 180,399 (  -18.2%)
2017 27,005 (  +8.4%) 201,786 (  +49.6%) 227,982 (  +26.4%)
2018 21,694 (  -19.7%) 228,698 (  +13.5%) 241,737 (  +6%)

Ground transportationEdit

CarEdit

Groningen Airport Eelde is accessible by car using exit 37 of the Motorway A28.

BicycleEdit

Separated bicycle infrastructure exists almost the entire way from the City of Groningen to Groningen Airport Eelde using either the Groningerweg/Hoofdweg or the bicycle paths parallel to the A28/E232 motorway

Public transportEdit

The closest major railway stations are in Assen and Groningen.

Buses connect the airport with Groningen. A bus connection to Assen is possible with a change in De Punt.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b EHGG – GRONINGEN/Eelde. AIP from AIS the Netherlands, effective 10 October 2019
  2. ^ a b c d "Luchtvaart; maandcijfers Nederlandse luchthavens van nationaal belang". CBS Statistics Netherlands. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Vliegveld Eelde". Historical Society Drenthe. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  4. ^ "1939-1945". Historic Survey. Groningen Airport Eelde. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  5. ^ "1946". Historic Survey. Groningen Airport Eelde. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  6. ^ "1956". Historic Survey. Groningen Airport Eelde. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  7. ^ "The 1960s". Historic Survey. Groningen Airport Eelde. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  8. ^ "2003". Historisch overzicht (Dutch). Groningen Airport Eelde. Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Baanverlenging Groningen Airport Eelde gereed (Dutch)". Groningen Airport Eelde. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Laatste vlucht Ryanair vanaf Eelde gaat niet". RTV Drenthe. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  11. ^ https://www.flybe.com/timetableClassic/timetable.jsp
  12. ^ "Airport Eelde krijgt hub naar Kopenhagen". Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  13. ^ luchtvaartnieuws.nl - Vertrek Nordica flinke domper voor Groningen Airport Eelde 3 December 2018
  14. ^ Eerste toestel van nieuwe lijndienst uit Kopenhagen landt met acht passagiers op Groningen Airport Eelde Dagblad van het Noorden. 4 March 2019
  15. ^ "Destinations".
  16. ^ https://www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl/nieuws/categorie/2/airlines/corendon-start-vakantievluchten-van-eelde-naar-bodrum
  17. ^ a b c "WèMf ^ ^ ' *#- Luchthavens in Nederland: een compendium R6-C72. Directoraat-CjeneraalRijkslucbtvaarftlienst. i -,.'.;,-:.^^". docplayer.nl. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  18. ^ Yumpu.com. "Jaarverslag 2009.pdf - Groningen Airport Eelde". yumpu.com. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  19. ^ Jaarverslag Groningen Airport Eelde 2011
  20. ^ Jaarverslag Groningen Airport Eelde 2014
  21. ^ Statistics from annual reports 2009-2014. Transfer passengers are included, in contrast with the CBS statistics.
  22. ^ Schedule shuttle bus Groningen Airport Eelde - Groningen v.v. – [1]
  23. ^ Qbuzz timetable 2018 Groningen & Drenthe - [2]

External linksEdit