emergency landing strips in Belgium

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regi
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emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by regi »

Question:
because I have just been informed about a nearby expressway that is designed to be turned into a NATO landing strip in case of emergencies , I ask the members this:
  • is there a list available on the web of roads, highways in Belgium that are designed to be used for emergency (military) airstrips ?
    is there a standard planning? ( similar to former West-Germany where farmers and local road working companies were incorporated and trained to construct anti tank defence lines in case of a soviet invasion. And we all know about the Swiss highways annex airstrips )
I was pretty much surprised about the openess of this local project. Certainly because it is just 10 minutes from my home, and I had never heard about it. ( But I always had a strange feeling driving on that oversized road...) Everybody concerned seems to know about it: Police, local administration, construction companies, Civilian Protection etcetera.

andorra-airport
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Re: emergency landing strips Belgium

Post by andorra-airport »

I have never heard of a Belgium highway strip, but there are many in Germany , Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and old "Czechoslovakia" (cold war). Here an interesting website in German : http://www.geschichtsspuren.de/artikel/ ... e-nlp.html

regi
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Re: emergency landing strips Belgium

Post by regi »

andorra-airport wrote:I have never heard of a Belgium highway strip, but there are many in Germany , Sweden, Switzerland, Poland and old "Czechoslovakia" (cold war). Here an interesting website in German : http://www.geschichtsspuren.de/artikel/ ... e-nlp.html
Yes, strange isn't ? The example that was given to me surprised me as well.

sdbelgium
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Re: emergency landing strips Belgium

Post by sdbelgium »

If it's so open, like you say in your first post, why don't you enlighten us? :-D Where is this emergency strip?

regi
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Re: emergency landing strips Belgium

Post by regi »

sdbelgium wrote:If it's so open, like you say in your first post, why don't you enlighten us? :-D Where is this emergency strip?
The N377 at Jabbeke, 2600 meter long according the Google Earth measuring device. Accidentally +- the same length of 2500 meters as in the German article...
Just before the unification of all police departments,( in 2000 I think ) the local "Rijkswacht" of Jabbeke organised an excercise to see what it would mean to turn this 2x2 highway into a operational landing strip. For landing, it would be ready in ...2 hours. The excersice confirmed this goal.

With the photographic details of the German article in mind (thank you!) , I will check out the road protection one of these days.

torchus
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Re: emergency landing strips Belgium

Post by torchus »

2 hours ? Then why not divert to another airport, which is a much easier and safer option ? There are literally hundreds of airports that can be reached within these 2 hours. What would be the benefit of having such an emergency landing strip ?

Sikiri
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Re: emergency landing strips Belgium

Post by Sikiri »

While reading the article I remembered seeing a video from the Republic of China Air Force (=Taiwan). After a while I found it back. It's made by local spotters, and features a S-70, F-16's, Mirage 2000's and Ching-kuo's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNk-ljy-diA

While searching for it, I found a movie from planes landing on the autobahn in 1984. This one features, A-10's (including the pilot calling it a nice facility), C-160's, alphajets, a tornado and a Dutch F-16.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx7Meo7w-pY

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SN_fan
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Re: emergency landing strips Belgium

Post by SN_fan »

torchus wrote:2 hours ? Then why not divert to another airport, which is a much easier and safer option ? There are literally hundreds of airports that can be reached within these 2 hours. What would be the benefit of having such an emergency landing strip ?
WAR
when the airports are bombed ???

teddybAIR
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by teddybAIR »

I'm sure any strike package that would target Koksijde AFB would make the 2 minute detour to this not-so-secret emergency runway, wouldn't it?!

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euroflyer
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by euroflyer »

teddybAIR wrote:I'm sure any strike package that would target Koksijde AFB would make the 2 minute detour to this not-so-secret emergency runway, wouldn't it?!
Probably yes. As far as I remember from my days in cold war Germany the idea was to have so many of them, that they coould not all be bombed at the same time at least. The idea at that time was that the NATO air force would make a fatal strike on the eastern European countries and the Soviet Union; however, it seemed likely that there was some form of 'revenge' which would include probably destroying many airports. This in turn would mean the own NATO airforces might have no place left to land safely after their succesful strikes. Therefore those emergency landing strips should than be used, so to speak to welcome the heroes back home ...

On a sitenote: you can still today see on many roads in Germany close to the border (on both sides) prepared places to blow up whole roads or bridges in case of the enemy approaching from the east. And even in the late 80s / early 90s when a new housing area in my local village at the Rhine river in Germany was planned and started to be build the main road had to be wide and solid enough to allow a high number of tanks to run along it as it leads to a place where a mobil NATO bridge should be build within 24 hours in case the enemy would bomb all road bridges across the Rine river ...
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regi
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by regi »

teddybAIR wrote:I'm sure any strike package that would target Koksijde AFB would make the 2 minute detour to this not-so-secret emergency runway, wouldn't it?!
By purpose I opened this new item by leaving out some of the details. But yes, you filled it in exactly as I have heard it from non aviation people: this airstrip would become the emergency landing strip for the Koksijde squadron in case Koksijde would be closed temporarely ( 1 specific cluster bomb is enough ). They mentioned that it would be ready in 2 hours for landing. For refueling and using it as a replacement AFB it would require some more time, probably a day. (installing inflatable fuel storage, "trafic control", shelters, transfer of AFB equipment, ammunition and the whole lot. And even than it would work at just a fraction of a fixed AFB.

But at this moment no member replied yet with specific Belgian background information. Strange that after just 10 years most seem to have forgotten about what is just around us.

regi
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by regi »

I went to check out the N377 last week.
The situation is simple:
2 x 2 lanes , in the middle just some hedges, no trees.
Young trees at the side, can be removed by local farmers with their heavy 4x4 tractors within some hours. ( I asked a local farm contractor and he confirmed this : 1 good chain and you pull those trees out of the soil. They all have those heavy tractors to plough through the heavy Polders clay )
There are also lamp posts. The farm contractor told me that he had heard about a different technique to remove those when the N377 would be turned into an emergency landing strip. But he didn't know how or by who. ( there would be a machine stalled at the provincial road maintenance depot that can pull the light pole vertically out of the soil, with the concrete block still on it )
The center is the main problem. Can be filled by metal plates. But it would not be the option to land in the center.

Any update is welcome.

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earthman
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by earthman »

regi wrote:I went to check out the N377 last week.
The situation is simple:
2 x 2 lanes , in the middle just some hedges, no trees.
Young trees at the side, can be removed by local farmers with their heavy 4x4 tractors within some hours. ( I asked a local farm contractor and he confirmed this : 1 good chain and you pull those trees out of the soil. They all have those heavy tractors to plough through the heavy Polders clay )
There are also lamp posts. The farm contractor told me that he had heard about a different technique to remove those when the N377 would be turned into an emergency landing strip. But he didn't know how or by who. ( there would be a machine stalled at the provincial road maintenance depot that can pull the light pole vertically out of the soil, with the concrete block still on it )
The center is the main problem. Can be filled by metal plates. But it would not be the option to land in the center.

Any update is welcome.
Why this interest? Are you fed up with the lack of government in Belgium, planning a coup and looking for a nice place where your mercenaries can land their planes?

JOM4021
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by JOM4021 »

Those strips dated back from the cold war times and their neccessity fell down along with the Berlin wall.
Another one: A40 Liege-Brussels between Hognoul and Kemexhe, just north of Bierset. Have a look at the outsize "car park" at the middle of the section, perferct for aircraft. Also of note: a Civil Protection brigade at Kemexhe...
I learned about this in the year 70's by miltary pilots of Bierset.

regi
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by regi »

JOM4021 wrote:Those strips dated back from the cold war times and their neccessity fell down along with the Berlin wall.
Another one: A40 Liege-Brussels between Hognoul and Kemexhe, just north of Bierset. Have a look at the outsize "car park" at the middle of the section, perferct for aircraft. Also of note: a Civil Protection brigade at Kemexhe...
I learned about this in the year 70's by miltary pilots of Bierset.
Thank you for the reply with that other location.
No Earthman, I am not planning a coup :)
Just regard it as a form of sentimental interest, as people go watch a historical airplane show or go to a museum, or make a tour of the WW2 bunkers at Raversijde.

andorra-airport
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by andorra-airport »

regi wrote:I went to check out the N377 last week.
The situation is simple:
2 x 2 lanes , in the middle just some hedges, no trees.
You confuse me Regi. The N377 at Jabbeke ??? That small road with houses close to it? I can't see 2 x 2 lanes with hedges in the middle... Do you mean the A10 / E40 close to Jabbeke , with those giant parking spaces?
JOM4021 wrote: Another one: A40 Liege-Brussels between Hognoul and Kemexhe, just north of Bierset. Have a look at the outsize "car park" at the middle of the section, perferct for aircraft.
Would be a "theory" then (not proven) that there are highway roads with "big" parking-spaces close to the big Belgium (military) airports............ Just my thoughts.

regi
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by regi »

euh yes, the N377 ! But there is also a N377A, the small road from Jabbeke to Stalhille. Maybe that caused the confusing.
Check http://www.viamichelin.com and you will see that this road is even called expressweg N377 - and you also see the N377A, a curbing road.
I mean the express style road from the E40 exit at Jabbeke towards the N9 Brugge-Oostende. It passes by Stalhille ( not going through the village :) )
It has 2 x 2 lanes. And has small hedges in the middle, and the distance between the N9 and the curb is 2600 meter.
There are no houses located immediately next to this express way.
There is an inner section with traffic lights to safeguard the traffic to Stalhille.

All these details are very well visible on Google Earth. You see the double lanes, the road marks, the middle section. So you don't have to go check it out in persona. ( not sarcastic, just a simple solution for those living far away )

Traffic on this express road is pretty quiet. Just during weekends it gets busier with the tourists who come from the highway , driving towards De Haan and Wenduine.

Extra note: I wonder if the famous N89 going to Bouillon can also be regarded as an emergency landing strip . We don remember it from the days of compensation. A new harbour at Zeebrugge? Ok, than an expressway at Bouillon. ( to nowhere)
But I have no information about this one. Just about the N377 at Jabbeke, because several people who were involved with it in the old days told me so.

JOM4021
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by JOM4021 »

Would be a "theory" then (not proven) that there are highway roads with "big" parking-spaces close to the big Belgium (military) airports............ Just my thoughts.
[/quote]

Insofar as I have no proof except what was told to me by that Bierset based pilot, it is indeed just a theory. I really would like to have confirmation of this.

Also of note on that E40 (and not A40 of course...) section: at the western end of it, just before the first turn and between the two reservoirs, if you zoom you can see on the north that the emergency stop lane is much wider (twice the highway width) on a length of about 150 meters. Before the construction of the TGV railway, there was exactly the same on the south side. It was supposed to allow aircraft to make a 180 turn at the end of the landing roll.

Of course, I would really like to have a positive proof of this :)

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tolipanebas
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by tolipanebas »

Another one that I know of it the Duinkerkse Steenweg in Oostende, near parallel to the airport.

It is long, wide (2x2), oriented westerly (prevailing wind direction), has no light poles or signs on it and most importantly it has no unpaved middle grounds for a long section. Planes could taxy almost immediately onto Ostend airport from it....
Last edited by tolipanebas on 23 Feb 2011, 13:56, edited 1 time in total.

regi
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Re: emergency landing strips in Belgium

Post by regi »

Thank you for the updating.
But nobody has replied with an actual list from official side. Or this is forbidden to be spread around, or we have no members with acces to that data, or maybe somebody finds it irrelevant to put it in this forum. Or nobody has any clue anymore about those emergency landing strips and planning.

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