Sunday 07 August 2022

Minister rejects helicopter ambulance night flight plan

Plans to allow helicopter ambulances to make night flights to and from Amsterdam and Groningen hospitals have been turned down by junior transport minister Joop Atsma, the Telegraaf reports.

The minister says taking off at night from the roof of the hospitals is too dangerous and the medical services must look for an alternative location.
Landing is not considered a problem, the paper says.
‘This decision means valuable time will be lost getting emergency help to traffic accident victims,’ said ANWB director Guido van Woerkom.
Jean Savelkoul, deputy chair of the VU university medical centre in Amsterdam said the hospital is very disappointed. ‘It’s a ridiculous state of affairs,’ he said. ‘The health ministry has said we are supposed to be optimising the use of helicopter ambulances by flying at night but another ministry rejects the request’
The ANWB motoring organisation, which operates the airborne ambulance service, has four helicopters suitable for night flying. One which will operate 24 hours a day is in Nijmegen, Nos says.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.