07 Oct 2019

Dutch Minister of Infrastructure visits the Royal Netherlands Aeroclub

The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, visited the Royal Netherlands Aeroclub (KNVvL) recently.

She was welcomed by Ronald Schnitker, the President of the KNVvL. Schnitker recalled the more than hundred-year relationship between the KNVvL and the Ministry of Infrastructure. In the early years of aviation, it was the KNVvL that brought aviation to the public’s attention, made the first aviation rules andissued licences. And it was the Ministry that asked the KNVvL to advise on the preparation of the first Aviation Act in the Netherlands.

Mr Schnitker said: “Today the KNVvL is more a defender of the interests of air sports. Because of increasing commercial and military aviation, space for aviation sports in the Netherlands is decreasing. The KNVvL stands for keeping sufficient air space for air sports. This situation is not unique in the Netherlands, also elsewhere in the world we see the same developments”. He referred to the Manifesto that was signed during the FAI General Conference of 2018 in Luxor and handed Ms van Nieuwenhuizen a copy of his book Preserving Airspace Access for Air Sports.

Ms van Nieuwenhuizen was given the opportunity to observe air sports closely, with volunteers from various departments explaining the ins and outs of their air sports. Under a blue sky they gave live demonstrations of model flying, paramotor flying, paragliding, balloon inflation and drone flying. Gliding and delta flying provided a static display. Ms van Nieuwenhuizen was quick to reply when asked which air sport she would like to try: “a parachute jump.” The KNVvL was happy to oblige.

It was a very successful event, in which the KNVvL had the opportunity to explain to the Minister why 15,000 Dutch people enjoy practicing air sports and what KNVvL is doing to take the sports in the right direction.