27 October 2013
Joint surveillance of Benelux airspace by Netherlands and Belgian air forces
Dutch Minister of Defence Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert has signed a letter of intent with her Belgian colleague Pieter De Crem for joint surveillance of the airspace of the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) on 23 October 2013.
Currently, both Belgium and the Netherlands have separately jet-fighters and pilots on standby to intercept hostile aircrafts in their own airspace, as agreed to in the context of NATO. They both monitor the airspace of Luxembourg, who does not have its own air force. The cooperation is scheduled to begin in 2016, and will save manpower of both countries. Additionally, the Dutch Minister is of the opinion that extensive cooperation with the Belgian air force will guarantee worldwide operational capability of the Dutch air force.