The number of flights by NATO surveillance aircraft over the Netherlands went up rather than down last year, said junior defence minister Jack de Vries in a letter to MPs this week, reports the Volkskrant.
Some 2,840 flights were made by AWACS aircraft in 2008 compared with 2,784 in the preceding year, said De Vries who has been asked by parliament to reduce this number to 2,600. The planes cause considerable nuisance because of the noise they produce.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks is the cost of moving the training flights from Germany to another country. For example, the transport costs alone to fly AWACS in Turkey would be €150,000, according to the paper.
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