On October 14, 1926, a group of striking notables put the first shovel into the ground of a section of dune area in Nieuw-Haamstede, with some official display, to level the site. This site would be called “West-Schouwen Airport”.
The shortest scheduled flight, from Rotterdam to Schouwen, started on May 4, 1931 and consisted of picking up passengers in Zierikzee with a KLM bus, a twenty-minute flight to the Waalhaven and then transport by bus and ferry to the final destination Coolsingel. ; this for the small amount of 8.25. In the following years, the airport has been used extensively for all kinds of routes. Nowadays “Vliegveld Haamstede” is used by the Vliegclub Haamstede. It is only flown with gliders.
Gliding is flying in an airplane without an engine. With the help of warm, rising air (also called thermals) it is possible to fly in the Netherlands up to an altitude of approximately 2,500 m and to make flights of many hours. Flying along at Vliegclub Haamstede takes a maximum of 15 minutes. From above, the occupant not only has a view of the sea, beach and dunes, but also of the Boswachterij Westerschouwen and of course the Oosterscheldewerken. In clear weather, you can look off the coast to Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen and the other way to the port area of Rotterdam.
If you would like to fly yourself once, you can go to the airport. There is always someone at the barrier who can give you more information. You can call the clubhouse in advance (0111-653557) to inquire whether there is a flight that day. You must make an appointment for groups of 5 people or more. The club flies on weekends (from mid-March to late November) and throughout the holiday period if the weather permits.