Maastricht Aachen

ICAO

EHBK

Location

Netherlands

Elevation

375ft / 114m

Coordinates

50° 54′ 57″ N, 5° 46′ 37″ E

Runway Length & Type

RWY 04/22: 8,196ft / 2,498m Asphalt

Brief History

Pre-World War II

Plans for an airport in southern Limburg date back as far as 1919, with various locations being considered. Years of debate among various municipalities over the location and funding of the airport delayed its construction. In July 1939 the Limburg provincial government agreed to financially back the airport, however, the start of World War II meant the plans were put on hold once more.


Advanced Landing Ground Y-44

IX Engineering Command constructing an advanced landing ground. After the allied invasion of Normandy, the USAAF Ninth Air Force, specifically the IX Engineer Command, was tasked with constructing temporary airfields close to the advancing front. The area around Maastricht was liberated in 1944. In October 1944, the advance headquarters of the XIX Tactical Air Command and the 84th and 303rd Fighter Wings were moved to Maastricht to keep up with the Ninth Army.Because of the proximity to the new headquarters, the decision was made to create a temporary airfield between the towns of Beek, Geulle and Ulestraten. Several orchards which had suffered damage from a tank battle were commandeered and cleared. Rubble from the nearby town of Geleen, which had been unintentionally bombed in 1942, was used to level the area.


● The runway was 5,565 feet (1,696 m) and reinforced with pierced steel planks.

● The field was built in less than 2 months and was operational on 22 March 1945, and was designated Y-44.

● The first unit to be based at the field was the 31st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, flying the F-6, a reconnaissance version of the P-51 Mustang. The unit arrived on 22 March 1945.

●As Nazi Germany was rapidly collapsing, the front was already well into Germany by the time the field was ready, and no direct combat sorties were operated from Y-44. 31st TRS was moved to Y-80 near Wiesbaden on 19 April 1945. 1950s and 1960s

●The late 1950s and early 1960s brought significant expansion in commercial operations at the airport. Operators included KLM, Airnautical, Skytours, Euravia, Tradair and Transair. The airport was also used as an intermediate stop for services from London and Manchester to Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Yugoslavia. A local airline based at the airport, Limburg Airways, had a contract with the International Herald Tribune for distributing the newspaper's European edition, which was printed in Paris. Limburg Airways was taken over by Martin's Air Charter (now Martinair) in 1962.

● A promotion campaign by the Dutch tourist board for the nearby town of Valkenburg aan de Geul, aimed at British tourists, was highly successful and brought services by Invicta Airlines, Britannia and Channel Airways.

●Domestic travel picked up as well, and newly created NLM CityHopper started to operate a service between Maastricht and Amsterdam Schiphol in 1966. The service would continue after KLM acquired NLM in 1992, and would last until 2008. When it was cancelled, it was the last remaining domestic service in the Netherlands.An ILS system, which allows landings in poor weather, was built in 1967, for runway 22 only. 2010s

● In March 2011, the airport was certified to handle the upcoming Boeing 747-8, as two of the airport's major airlines—Cargolux and AirBridge Cargo—have placed orders for this aircraft.

●Ryanair announced on July 3, 2012, that Maastricht will become a new Ryanair base from December 2012, the first on Dutch soil, with one Boeing 737-800 being based at the airport and three new routes being launched: Dublin, London-Stansted and Treviso.

●In late October 2012, start-up Dutch airline, Maastricht Airlines, announced plans to base six Fokker 50 aircraft at the airport, initially operating to Berlin, Munich, and Amsterdam, before adding Copenhagen, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Southend in 2014. This did not happen and the company declared bankruptcy.

● Also in 2013, the airport was helped by the province with a 4.5 million euro contribution. The airport was very close to bankruptcy during this period. Later on, in March 2014, the same province of Limburg believed that closure was never an option. They decided that they would like to take over the airport.[38]

● In December 2013, a spokesperson of the airport confirmed the closure of the Ryanair base from March 2014, entailing the ending of the Bergamo, Brive, Dublin, London-Stansted and Málaga flights.

●In 2017, Corendon Dutch Airlines announced that they would open a base on the airport with one aircraft based in summer 2018. In late 2018 renovations started on the passenger terminal. Also, freight carriers as Emirates SkyCargo and Saudia Cargo found their way to the airport, while Turkish Airlines Cargo, Silk Way Airlines and Sky Gates Airlines further expanded their operations in Maastricht. Meanwhile, both Corendon Dutch Airlines and Ryanair announced that they would expand their Firefly Air Hub: Maastricht Aachen (EHBK) number of destinations. Corendon Dutch Airlines even based a second aircraft during the summer season.

Frequencies

Service Frequencies:

ATIS: 124.570

Ground: 121.820

Tower: 119.470

Approach: 120.200

Departure: 123.970

 

ILS Frequencies:

RWY 04: 111.550

RWY 22: 111.550

 

VOR Frequencies:

MAS (MAASTRICHT): 108.60

GIX (GEILENKIRCHEN): 116.15

LIE (LIEGE): 113.85

BBL (KLEINE BROGEL): 109.60

Route Map

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