On 30 March 2017, what once was Twenthe air base was officially reopened as Twente Airport (note spelling). For the time, this will be a bussiness and general aviation airport without instrument procedures. The envisaged activities include flight testing and the dismantling of larger aircraft. The field will not be open to the general public and the former civil terminal has been closed. Twente lost its military status on 1 December 2005, when the last F-16 squadron left the airfield. The local flying and gliding clubs do reside on the field.
The main and sole remaining runway measures 2400 meters with the glider strip now parallel to it on the south-side. Taxiing aircraft are only permitted to enter or exit the runway via the two exits on the northern side at the 05 end. The few remaining operational facilities are also those on the northern side of 05/23. Most of the airfield is surrounded by trees and private land. Be aware that many of the small roads around the airfield are unpaved or prohibited for non-residents or both.
The airfield cannot be reached easily by public transport. There is a bus that gets to the McDonalds (take the bus to 'Oldenzaal', but it would still mean a 20 minute walk, but a Treintaxi is available at Enschede station. Another possibility: from the train station at Oldenzaal take the bus to Enschede and get off at the McDonalds. Finally, the most convenient option is to drive by car to the airfield.
Around the Airport
To get here, follow the instructions for spot 2 but turn right onto the Ledeboerweg after some 1200 m on the Noordergrensweg. You can get into the centerline here but approaching aircraft will be rather high.
This gate, 200m past the now closed official spotters corner of earlier years, offers a limited view onto the beginning of runway 23. To get to the much better current spot, drive past this gate to spot 3. Starting from the A1 motorway, exit that at Oldenzaal-Zuid (exit 33). Turn right at Hanzepoort where the McDonald's is and then left immediately onto the Noordergrensweg (seemingly onto a bycicle lane, but this part is for cars too). Follow this narrow road for approximately 1700 m to arrive at the gate.
A new spotting place has been created on top of the disused (as such) shelter 524. At the moment this is by far the best spot on the field. A fence has been erected parallel to the runway and just north of this shelter, making the place accessible to the public and even providing some 'tourist information'. When visiting this area, stick to the provided walkways as the rest serves as an animal sanctuary. Respecting this will help preserve the spot for our purposes. To get here, just follow the road past spot 2 and take a right at the next junction. Parking space is ample on the former taxiway.
On the mound that covers a former air fuel storage, a lookout point has been created. This spot offers a better view on the apron across the runway than spot 3 does. Spot 4 can be reached by foot or bycicle, via the gravel path ('Belevingspad') between spot 3 and the former civil terminal at the Vliegveldweg.
The south-western approach is reachable via the N737 Weerseloseweg. The fields on this side of the airport are rather open so you will probably be able to see where the runway is. The indicated spot is on one of the unpaved local roads. Be sure to avoid blocking the farmers' routes!
For a decent look onto the beginning of runway 05, follow the track from spot 5 to the north and then north-east, along the base fence. This leads to a somewhat elevated spot overlooking this side of the runway. The light will obviously be best late in the afternoon.
A400M at Twente, present for runway water tests, shot from spot 3 by Rene Liebe.
|A MiG-21 on a mobile stand is kept in the south-eastern corner of the field.|
Order of Battle Netherlands
|Royal Netherlands Air Force/Navy|