De Peel is a former Royal Netherlands Air Force reserve base, currently housing two Dutch Air Defence ground units. It may be reactivated as a KLu reserve base in the future. In preparation for that, a handful of flights in late 2022 is making approaches and departures to/from the airfield, without actually touching down. The part of the runway that is useable by applicable specifications is made up of two helispots.
Falcon Autumn 2022
The runway outside the helispots is (also) being used during exercise Falcon Autumn, having the status of just a hardened surface suitable for helicopter operations. A map published by the Ministry of Defence (see More Info panel) depicts the routes to be used as either a straight-in on runway 06 from the southwest, or along the base perimeter from the north, directly to the western helispot. This might create observation options along the Landmeter van Beurdenweg.
The single runway, that would be designated 06/24 again if active, occupies the southern part of the base along with a number of operational structures. To its west lies a dispersal and shelter area. The northern part of the base holds another such area and the major part of the associated barracks. The base is largely covered with forest, as is the area to its north and east. The rest of the surroundings are farmland.
De Peel air base lies literally on the border of the provinces of North-Brabant and Limburg, the closest motorways being the A67 between Eindhoven and Venlo, and the A73 between Nijmegen and Venlo. From either motorway, one will likely approach via the N270 between Helmond and Venray, south of the base. From the north, Volkel air base is just some 20km from De Peel's main gate at the northern perimeter, via the N277.
Around the Airport
1Final approach from the east
Should runway 24 be in use as such, this would be the preferred option with prevailing winds (southwest). To get here from the N270, head north on the N277 at the roundabout near Ysselsteyn, on the lower right of our map. After 3km, turn left onto the Bakelsedijk, towards Raceway Venray. This road leads to both a crash gate and the entrance to the raceway, while crossing the centreline of the runway. Park somewhere out of the way and choose a spot to your liking, keeping in mind that the aircraft will be seen at a rather steep angle. Do NOT use the Raceway parking without permission, even if the gate is open. From the crash gate, all of the runway should be visible.
2Final approach from the west
With aircraft approaching runway 06, this will be the best vantage point most of the day if you prefer to have the sun behind you. The Koperenpeel is a dead-end road that continues unpaved towards the base fence after a farm entrance. The viewing and photography angle will improve when continuing as far as allowed. Do NOT be in the way for farmers with your vehicle and do NOT damage any crops. Walk instead of drive if necessary.
From spot 1, drive around the base via either side. Via the north (N277 and Peeldijk) is more straightforward, via the south (Kempkensberg and Oude Kerkbaan) is a little shorter. When heading for this spot right away from a motorway and the N270, exit the latter near Deurne for Milheeze and follow the signs to that village. At the roundabout in Milheeze, turn right onto the Peeldijk and enter our map from the left.
Together with the crash gate at spot 1, this is the only spot known to us to legally obtain a view onto the runway. The Schoutsebaan is a paved dead-end road ending at another crash gate that is reached via the Peeldijk, just north of spot 2. Obviously, this road should stay clear for possible use by emergency services at all times.
|127.265||Biter TWR (Falcon Autumn)|
|Falcon Autumn||Official information, in Dutch|
|Amsterdam - Schiphol|
|Budel (Kempen Airport)|
|Den Helder/De Kooy|
|Eindhoven   subscribers only|
|Groningen/Eelde   subscribers only|
|Lelystad   subscribers only|
|Rotterdam-The Hague   subscribers only|
|Soesterberg - CLOSED|
|Twente   subscribers only|
|Valkenburg - CLOSED|