NLR, TUI fly and Lufthansa make test flights at Twente Airport

Weather permitting, NLR’s Cessna Citation, the PH-LAB, will operate 200 to 250 flights at Twente Airport between 28 September and 8 October. A Boeing 737 from TUI fly and an Airbus A319 from Lufthansa will also participate on 5 and 6 October, each with approximately ten flights.

This concerns so-called approach flights: sometimes a touch-and-go is made, sometimes the landing is aborted before the wheels touch the runway.

The test flights are made as part of the European project DREAMS. This project investigates alternative ways for aircraft to approach a runway.
The initiators of DREAMS see alternative landing methods – involving steeper approach paths and shifting the runway threshold (the place where the aircraft first touches the runway) – as a possible future solution that is less harmful to the environment, ensures less noise nuisance and contributes to a safe capacity increase of landing aircraft at an airport.

In the research, precise satellite navigation technology is used for this purpose, with a ground station that transmits signals for the aircraft to be able to fly the above-mentioned approaches.

If the weather is too bad, the flights can take place on other dates. There are only flights on working days. The current schedule can be found every day on the website of the NLR.

Twente Airport (part of Technology Base) says it is very suitable for testing manned and unmanned systems. According to the airport, the almost three kilometers long runway and the relatively quiet airspace offer plenty of room to safely test innovations in practice at an early stage. Partly by facilitating tests such as those of NLR, Twente Airport aims to develop into a nursery and testing ground for the necessary sustainability of aviation.

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