Belgian Air Force 40th Squadron Heli to move from Koksijde Air Base to Ostend-Bruges Airport

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Koksijde Air Base (Belgium), home of the Belgian Air Force 40th Squadron Heli operating NH90 NFH helicopters for search and rescue (SAR) missions, will close by 2023, moving all military activities to Ostend-Bruges Airport.

Major General Frederik Vansina, Commander, Belgian Air Force © André Orban

The Ministry of Defence announced that the infrastructure of the air base is very outdated and in poor condition. Furthermore, it’s a difficult task to maintain the required workforce. Hence, the decision was made to move to Ostend.

The required infrastructural works in Ostend are expected to be ready by 2022. After the move, the base will be able to function with much less crew – from 331 to 123 – as technical services, air traffic controllers and fire brigade are already present at the new location. The reduction, however, should come through “natural redundancies” only.

The move was confirmed by Major General Frederik Vansina, Commander of the Belgian Air Force at a dinner-conference attended by Aviation24.be.

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