Crazy enough, although being a club member since the early 90’s at Limburgse Vleugels at the eastern Belgium airfield of Genk Zwartberg (ICAO: EBZW), virtually no one of the private pilots seems to fly to the nearby intl airport of Maastricht-Aachen (EHBK)
The reasons are threefold: first, eastern Belgium has so many small airfields at its disposal where you can fly to uncontrolled. Secondly, flying to Holland takes only a couple of minutes, meaning it is considered too short for a serious navigation and finally because one needs to file a flightplan and pay landing fees (from what I hear) in Maastricht.
It was a beautiful winterday and I invited my Belgian fellow pilot Ludo Holtappels to join me to the Maastricht airport. His son Ruben Holtappels, who is a private pilot student at this stage, joined us as well for this short flight.
The weather was perfect and we took off with a C172 at EBZW (Genk-Zwartberg) and set course to the Bravo entry point of Maastricht’s CTR. As an exercise, we flew along the southern border to the Military zone of Kleine Brogel (EB R-05B). We called the tower of Maastricht and got a clearance to enter the CTR at 1800 ft.
We were than instructed to follow the canal and fly to Sierra and Golf. From there we joined downwind and landed on the 03. No bus or whatsover picked us up, we walked to the tower. The bill for paying fees was really low, only 20 euro ! Amazing.
It was carnaval weekend in the Maastricht area and so the bar was closed and we could’nt get a coffee. Too bad. So Ludo took over for the return flight and some 20 minutes later we were already back in Genk Zwartberg.