One of the two remaining F-16 bases in the country, Volkel houses two squadrons nowadays: 312sq and 313sq. Still, Volkel can be quite a busy place with ample military visitors. Additionally, a medical air assistance helicopter is based here and the Dutch police operate an EC135 from Volkel. There are two nice places on both sides of the runway to watch the planes.
All regular operations take place from the north side of the two parallel runways. On the south side, four shelters house the F-16s that are on a 24/7 QRA stand by and the hangar that is used by the Historical Fighters Volkel and the gliding club. On the north side, a number of shelters and hangars contain the based F-16s. Hardly anything is visible from the outside. An exception to that is the platform near the 06 threshold, where most visitors and the local helicopters are parked.
The base is located east of Uden. To get here, head for Uden (probably taking the A50 highway) and follow the signposting towards Volkel (and the air base).
Getting here by public transport takes a while. You can take a bus from either Oss, 's Hertogenbosch or Nijmegen to Uden and change to Odiliapeel there. At the bus stop, take a good look at the departure times back to Uden as this bus does not run very frequently.
Around the Airport
On this side, a spotters place is located near the threshold of the main runway (24R). For photographers the sun is on the wrong side most of the time, except in the early morning, but to read off everything it is a nice spot. Bring a medium-size stepladder for photography.
2Runways 24 approach
When runway 24 is in use you can take position along the parallel road of the Peelweg to view and photograph landing aircraft. Walking into the fields is forbidden (also by signs) and even potentially dangerous.
3The south side
To photograph the moving traffic on the runways without facing the sun, you can go to the south side of the base. This spot offers this opportunity when either runway (24L or 24R) is in use. Bring a medium-sized stepladder for photography. To get here, park your car along the road and follow a dirt road to the fence.
Along the road (N264) there are some parking spots. From here you have a good view of the landing and departing aircraft on the runways 06L and 06R. You can also move around a bit from here to find the best spot. This spot also discloses any visiting aircraft parked on the tarmac north of the 06 threshold.
Near the main gate, an F-84, F-104 and F-16 are preserved, also visible from spot 4.
Alpha jet landing on runway 24. (Koen Leuvering)
Backlight conditions at spot 1. (Oscar Pluimer)
|291.100 / 136.080||Tower|
|379.925 / 123.180||RAPCON South|
|337.900||TMA Delta Monitor|
|362.950 / 363.525||312sq / 313sq Operations|
|247.750 / 388.600||Operations OCC|
|264.325 / 132.350||Dutch Mil (Outside tower hours)|
|D-8279||F-104G near the gate|
|J-240||F-16A near the gate|
|P-248||F-84F near the gate|
Order of Battle Netherlands
|Royal Netherlands Air Force/Navy|