From Lelystad to Maastricht
On Sunday afternoon, 4 December 2016, Charlotte, Maurits and René made a trip to Maastricht airport. For Charlotte and Maurits it was the first time, but also for René it had been a long time ago. Thinking that there was mandatory handling, the airport had always been avoided. However, when we called in the morning to enquire about the handling cost, we learned that handling was not necessary, and only a landing fee of about €20 was applicable. That makes Maastricht airport even less expensive than most of the small aerodromes in the Netherlands. The weather on the route was perfect, and after just over an hour we landed at Maastricht airport. Because sunset is early in December, we returned to Lelystad after paying the landing fee and a quick coffee. Next time we will visit the city.
Maurits at Lelystad airport
Charlotte and Maurits
En route to Maastricht
Left base runway 03 Maastricht airport
Landing runway 03 Maastricht airport
History Maastricht airport
After the invasion of Normandy, the IX Engineer Command of the USAAF Ninth Air Force was tasked with constructing temporary airfields close to the advancing front. The area around Maastricht was liberated in September 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.
A temporary airfield north of Maastricht was constructed early 1945 in less than two months. Pierced Steel Planks (PSPs), or Marsden Mattings, were used to create the landing strip. The airfield 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.
US forces to Maastricht 1944
A Landing Ground under construction
By the time the airfield was ready the front was already well into Germany, and no direct combat sorties were operated from Y-44. 31st TRS was moved to Y-80 near Wiesbaden on 19 April 1945. Authority over what was to become known as Beek airfield (vliegveld Beek), was officially transferred to the Dutch government on 1 August 1945. The runway was paved in 1949, and a second paved runway was completed in 1950.
Eurocontrol's Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) is located at the Airport. It provides air traffic control for traffic above 24,500 ft over Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and north-west Germany. In 1993, René had visited Eurocontrol at Maastricht airport, and received a tour.
De Havilland Dragon at Beek, 26 September 1945
From Maastricht to Lelystad
Charlotte and René at Maastricht airport
View of apron from taxiway W
Check time, take-off runway 03
Church of St Peter, Uden
Final runway 05 Lelystad airport