Aviation pioneers KLM, GKN Fokker and NLR (Dutch Aerospace Center) celebrated the 100th anniversary of Dutch aviation today. The highlight was a gathering in Film Museum Eye in the presence of His Majesty the King and a flyby of (historic) aircraft directly above the Amsterdam IJ
The event commemorated the contribution these pioneers made to international civil aviation and further elaborated on the challenges for aviation in the Netherlands with respect to smart, sustainable and economically responsible ways to fly in the future. During his visit, The King spoke with participants in the student’s challenge which has been specially organized for this centennial. Students presented their innovative, technical and social responses to sustainability issues.
Impulse for the Dutch economy
Over the past 100 years, Dutch aviation has been a natural ambassador and figurehead in the world for The Netherlands. To this day, it has continued to provide a successful impetus to the Dutch economy. The Dutch pioneering spirit has contributed to the bringing together of many hundreds of millions of people around the world by the aviation pioneers of yesteryear, or as Albert Plesman once put it: "The ocean of the sky, unites all people."
Momentum for sustainability
The Dutch aviation sector aims to be an ambassador and figurehead in the field of sustainability as well. The sector has recently joined forces with other transport organizations and research institutions to expedite existing developments in improving sustainability in aviation. The aim of this action plan named “Smart and Sustainable”, is to ensure that CO2 emissions from aviation from The Netherlands will be reduced by 35% in 2030.
Pieter Elbers, president and CEO of KLM: “Over the past 100 years, KLM has built a strong reputation in the field of international aviation. Typical Dutch values such as service and hospitality have always been and still are a high priority. I look back on the past 100 years not only with pride but also determined to meet the challenges that lie ahead on our path."
John Pritchard, CEO of GKN Fokker: "We are proud that we, together with KLM, NLR and many others, are a part of the successful Dutch aviation sector, which has created many technological innovations. The innovative entrepreneurship embodied by the aviation pioneers, has led to a world class aviation-ecosystem. Together we are well equipped to shape a sustainable future."
Michel Peters, CEO NLR: “We have been working on a cleaner and quieter aviation for decades and our common goal is to be able to fly emission-free by 2070. We are determined to make our contribution to this. This requires a revolutionary approach. We will need to find outside the box solutions. That is exactly what we are going to do."