Future airport Eelde bleak
Groningen Airport Eelde (GAE) will probably never be financially independent, and will always need government support, concludes the Northern Court of Auditors following an investigation ( pdf ) .Eelde is located in a sparsely populated area. The airport also has to battle cutthroat competition from airports as Lelystad and Eindhoven, designated by the government as an overflow for Schiphol. Even northern travelers more commonly depart from Schiphol Airport or another airport.
The report states the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe , two major shareholders of GAE , interfere too little with the ins and outs of the airport. The provincial governments rely increasingly on dated and bright future expectations, and ignore the economic reality. The local governments avoid a debate on the usefulness and necessity of an airport in the north, according to the researchers.
After a legal battle of 35 years, Eelde finally got an extended runway this spring, allowing flights to destinations further away, want with larger aircraft. However, none of that is noticeable in practice, according to the Court.