New board of Airport Drachten

During the board meeting on Monday, May 6, 2024, Vliegveld Drachten formed a new board. This fresh team is eager to get started right away and aims to meet with all relevant parties within and outside the airport in the short term.

Mayor Jan Rijpstra of Smallingerland is optimistic: “With this new board, the future plans of Vliegveld Drachten will be further developed. The members bring a wealth of experience in governance, as well as expertise in aviation and finance, which are crucial for the implementation of our plans.”

Of the old board, Wilfried Jellema and Klaas van den Berg will remain on board, while Hans Doddema, Harald Bouman, Sikko Brandenburg, and Douwe van Drogen join them as new board members. Mayor Jan Rijpstra and Douwe de Boer are stepping down from their board positions. Doddema will be the new chairman, succeeding Rijpstra.

Rijpstra, who served as chairman for five years, notes: “Now that the statutes have been amended to prevent conflicts of interest, it is an appropriate time to pass on the leadership. I have full confidence that the new board will steer the right course. I also want to thank Douwe de Boer for his dedication to the preservation of Vliegveld Drachten for over thirty years.”

The newly appointed chairman, Hans Doddema, is eager to get started: “Drachten has a rich history with Philips and therefore with the airport that Frits Philips built here. Now, there are exciting future plans for the development of aviation in the region. As the only small regional airport on the mainland of Friesland, we want to maintain and expand it. I look forward to working together with my fellow board members, the airport community, and residents to implement these future plans.”

The new board is familiar with the local community of Smallingerland and is open to expert input. They will soon consider the construction plans for hangar homes and other facilities proposed by initiators. Additionally, they will now handle communication with the immediate surroundings and other stakeholders.

In November 2023, the Smallingerland municipal council decided that Vliegveld Drachten may continue to exist for the next fifty years. The current users and initiators with plans for the airport are eager to get started with their ideas, including hangar homes, solar panels, and a revamped runway. The new board will organize the operation of Vliegveld Drachten based on a new structure.