Enschede Airport Twente

Enschede Airport Twente

(Advanced Landing Ground B-106)
2018 KLM Boeings Vliegveld Twente.jpg
Airport typeRestricted use
OperatorEnschede Airport Twente
ServesEnschede, Netherlands
LocationEnschede, Overijssel
Elevation AMSL115 ft / 35 m
Coordinates52°16′33″N 006°53′21″E / 52.27583°N 6.88917°E / 52.27583; 6.88917Coordinates: 52°16′33″N 006°53′21″E / 52.27583°N 6.88917°E / 52.27583; 6.88917
EHTW is located in Netherlands
Location of Enschede Airport Twente
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 2,406 7,894 Asphalt
Source: AIP from AIS the Netherlands[1]

Enschede Airport Twente (IATA: ENS, ICAO: EHTW) is located 2 NM (3.7 km; 2.3 mi) outside of Enschede in Overijssel, Netherlands. It has one runway (05/23), though one of the current taxiways has been used as a runway (taxiway A, formerly runway 16/34). The airport is currently uncontrolled and closed for scheduled passenger flights and military operations. A local flying club uses the airport for their activities. The airfield has also been approved for limited use by business charter operators and aircraft scrapping, storage and maintenance.


Lockheed F-104 Starfighters on the ramp at Twente in the early 1960s

Twente Airport was opened July 1931 by the mayor of Enschede, Edo Bergsma. KLM started a scheduled flight to Amsterdam in 1932, which was suspended in 1939. During World War II the German Luftwaffe took over the airport and made it a military airbase, renaming it Fliegerhorst Twente. In April 1945 allied troops reoccupied the airport and transferred ownership to the Dutch armed forces. A minor typo in the deed misspelled the airport name as Airbase Twenthe, with an added 'h'.[2]

After World War II the airport became a "joint use airport", with both civil and military use. The military stationed both fighter and trainer aircraft at the base. Aircraft based at Twente since the Second World War include the Gloster Meteor, Lockheed T-33, Fokker S.14 Machtrainer, Hawker Hunter, North American F-86K Sabre, Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, Northrop NF-5 and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon.[citation needed]

For civil operations the airport was renamed to Enschede Airport Twente and ran by the privately held company Enschede Airport Twente BV.[citation needed]

On 7 December 2007 military use of the airport ceased. As of 1 January 2008 the airport has been closed for civil aviation as well, pending governmental agreement on the future of the airport. On 16 June 2010 the province of Overijssel agreed on a spatial plan including an airport.[3]

On 1 December 2010 the ownership of the airport grounds was transferred to the Twente region and the city of Enschede.[4] Though it was attempted to find a party interested in operating the airport commercially, it was announced on 4 December 2012 that despite three parties showing interest in this proposal, none of them made a bid to operate it.[5] In March 2013, the military briefly re-opened the airport for military use as part of exercise Cerberus Guard.[6]

In March 2014 the government proposed that the airport could re-open for General Aviation users in 2015, and commercial traffic in 2016. Movements would be limited to 22.000 a year under the proposal primarily for noise abatement.[7] However, in June 2014 both the provincial government and the city of Enschede abandoned the plan to re-open the airport for commercial traffic. The future of the airport remained uncertain.[8] In August 2015 it was announced that Belgian aircraft recycling firm Aeronextlife intended to start using the airport to scrap aircraft.[9] As part of the plan, Aeronextlife would become responsible for the costs of certain vital services required for airport operation, such as a fire fighting presence during aircraft operations.[10]

Approval was granted, and flights to Enschede Airport resumed on 1 May 2016 with the landing of a Cessna Citation Sovereign coming from Manchester, which departed for Aosta later that day.[11] Besides the arrival of aircraft for scrapping, additional traffic allowed at the airport include cargo aircraft to transport airplane parts, business charter aircraft of a number of operators that requested permission to use the airfield, a limited number of smaller general aviation aircraft and gliders.[12]

In November 2016 it was announced Aircraft End-of-Life Solutions (AELS) was taking over the permit for the dismantling of aircraft from Aeronextlife. AELS already conducted such activity at Woensdrecht Air Base, however, they are limited in the size of the aircraft they can dismantle at Woensdrecht.[13] The first aircraft to be scrapped was HB-JMK, an Airbus A340-300 formerly operated by Swiss International Air Lines, which arrived on 27 April 2017.[14] Since then, aircraft from KLM, Air France and other airlines have also been flown to Twente for scrapping.

Former military aircraft shelters being used by the local flying club in 2018.

In June and July 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic economic downturn, six Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 aircraft arrived at Enschede for storage and possible dismantling. In October 2020 Lufthansa decided to remove the aircraft for scrapping in Texas but it was discovered that, while local environmental regulations permitted the arrival of large aircraft it did not permit them to take-off again.[15] After negotiation a limited exemption from the regulation was agreed and Lufthansa planned to fly the aircraft out, over a period of time, with the last aircraft to leave before July 2021.[16]

On 18 April 2021, the airport was the site of the NN Mission Marathon won by Eliud Kipchoge in 2:04.30. The race was originally scheduled for April 11 in Hamburg but postponed because of Covid-19 restrictions before being relocated to ENS.[17]

Besides the storage and scrapping of aircraft, the airport also worked to establish themselves as an aviation technology hub under the name Technology Base. As an example of this, in September and October of 2021, the airport was used as part of a research project to explore changes to how aircraft approach airports in order to reduce noise and emissions.[18] After several aircraft previously operated by Alitalia were flown to the airport by their owner Nordic Aviation Capital, the company responsible for their maintenance, Direct Maintenance, decided to start aircraft maintenance operations at the airport and started renting office and hangar space in October of 2021.[19]

Airlines and destinations

Currently there are no scheduled flights from Enschede Airport. Historical destinations include charter flights to Las Palmas, Antalya, Palma de Mallorca, Faro and Heraklion.[citation needed]


Enschede Airport is accessible by car via the nearby A1 motorway, exit 33. The car park is adjacent to the terminal and free of charge.

There are no public transport links to Enschede Airport.


  1. ^ EHTW – ENSCHEDE/Twenthe. AIP from AIS the Netherlands, effective 1 December 2022
  2. ^ Bouwhuis, Cor. "Vliegclub Twente - Geschiedenis". vliegclubtwente.nl. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  3. ^ The Province of Overijssel established its spatial perspective on Twente Airport and its environs, 17 June 2010, retrieved 21 December 2010
  4. ^ Kick-off 1 December Archived 2011-02-15 at the Wayback Machine (in Dutch), retrieved 21 December 2010
  5. ^ Anouk Eigenraam, NRC.nl - Niemand wil vliegveld Twente hebben, article retrieved 9 December 2012.
  6. ^ Airliners.net - G-273 (cn 382-5273) Tactical off-loading during exercise 'Cerberus Guard' at the temporarily re-opened Twenthe Airbase, retrieved 9 May 2013.
  7. ^ Luchtvaartnieuws.nl (2014) - Luchthaven Twente: 22.000 starts en landingen Archived 2014-03-08 at the Wayback Machine, article retrieved 8 March 2014.
  8. ^ De Volkskrant (June 2014), Vliegveld Twente wordt geen luchthaven voor burgervluchten, article retrieved 9 October 2014.
  9. ^ RTV Oost (2015), Vliegtuigsloopbedrijf vestigt zich op Technology Base Twente, article retrieved August 20, 2015.
  10. ^ Tubantia (2015) - Wethouder: 'Geen belastinggeld naar luchthavenfaciliteiten Aeronextlife', article retrieved August 20, 2015.
  11. ^ RTV Oost - Voor het eerst sinds 2007 weer een zakenvlucht op vliegveld Twente, article retrieved 1 May 2016.
  12. ^ Luchtvaartnieuws (2016) - In mei weer vluchten naar vliegvled Twente, articled retrieved 21 April 2016.
  13. ^ RTV Oost - Niet AeroNextLife maar AELS wil vliegtuigen slopen in Twente, article retrieved November 6, 2016.
  14. ^ Maarten Van Den Driessche for Aviation24.be (2017), Swiss International Airlines Airbus A340 (reg. HB-JMK) will be scrapped at Enschede Airport Twente (EHTW/ENS), article retrieved May 7, 2017.
  15. ^ Haverkate, Herman (26 October 2020). "Stalemate around Twente Airport: Boeings must go, but are not allowed to go". Tubantia News. Retrieved 27 October 2020.
  16. ^ Zwerger, Patrick (29 October 2021). "Happy ending for Lufthansa in Twente". Flug Revue (in German). Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  17. ^ "Athletics news - Rejuvenated Eliud Kipchoge wins NN Mission Marathon in Enschede, Netherlands". Eurosport. 25 June 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  18. ^ "NLR, TUI fly en Lufthansa maken proefvluchten op Twente Airport". Luchtvaartnieuws (in Dutch). 25 September 2021. Retrieved 15 October 2021.
  19. ^ "Onderhoudsbedrijf Direct Maintenance vestigt zich op Twente Airport". Luchtvaartnieuws (in Dutch). 14 October 2021. Retrieved 15 October 2021.

External links

Media related to Enschede Airport Twente at Wikimedia Commons

  • Airliners.net - photos taken at Enschede Airport Twente
  • - Website Vliegclub Twente
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