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The artists performing on the Liberation Day festivals throughout the country leave on May 5 with helicopters from Gilze-Rijen. This year the Ambassadors Sharon Kovacs, Nielson and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano step into the helicopters of the Defence Helicopter Command. For air transport between the various liberation festivals in the country three helicopters are scheduled. These are two Cougar transport helicopters and one NH90 maritime helicopter.

The performers from last
year at Gilze-Rijen: Jett Rebel,
Caro Emerald, Dotan and Main Street.

After a year's absence the Luchtmachtdagen return in 2016. In 2016 it is the turn of Leeuwarden Airbase. And it promises to be a memorable event

Date and program

Air Force Days will take place on Friday 10 and Saturday, June 11, 2016. What the visitor certainly can expect are air shows, a look behind the scenes, admiring helicopters and fighter jets, spotting great planes from home and abroad, demonstrations, workshops , etcetera.


As always, the Air Force Days are completely free to visit. You do not have to buy tickets. Because of its free nature, the Air Force Open Days are one of the biggest free events in the Netherlands. Each edition is visited by hundreds of thousands of people, so make sure you take into account traffic on the input and output paths around Leeuwarden Air Base.

Address Leeuwarden Air Base

Keegsdijkje 7
8919 AK Leeuwarden
phone number: 058-2346911

Participation Cougar helicopter!

Besides the spectacular demonstrations in the air there will be a Cougar transport helicopter of the the Royal Air Force to visit.

Photo Archive 2012: Cougar Helicopter
During hoist exercise near
Mission: Ocean Shield 2012

The Eurocopter AS 532U2 Cougar is a twin-engine military transport helicopter. The tasks of the Cougar are troop movements and resupply. It can also be used for transporting wounded and assistance in firefighting.

The helicopters are under the 300 squadron and are stationed at the Gilze-Rijen airbase.

Will you be there on Wednesday, July 27th?

Beautiful images of a fast rope training with 11LMB. Thank you for this!

As a spotter on the sidelines you have a beautiful sight when a helicopter makes a snow landing. For the flight crew it's a little bit different. The final seconds before landing is their proverbial image turns to black in the snow cloud. "At that time it can go wrong really quick," says loadmaster Sergeant Major Clarence. How do you bring such a dangerous whiteout landing a success? A pilot, loadmaster and Mobile Air Operations Team (MAOT) show their tactics.

Landing on a snowy mountain peak, between trees or on a frozen lake: they manage. But a breeze you quickly get the hang of it, it certainly is not. A week before landing scenarios are part of Cold Response, a staged realistic war against "Norlandia '300 Squadron practices his skills.

Cougars of the Royal Netherlands Air Force practiced deck landing procedures in Norway during the exercise Cold Response on board Zr.Ms. Johan de Witt and Zr.Ms. Rotterdam. For Cougar Pilots it's important in order to keep the deck landings for qualifications up to date. A deklanding is more difficult than a normal landing, because it is on a small moving platform. The exercise of these landings ensures multiple crews are ready for their role in the NATO Response Force in 2016.