Colonel Peter Danking told ANP that the Ministry of Defense wants to evacuate people from Kabul three times a day in the coming years. He has the responsibility of coordinating the discharges. The evacuees must first fly to a country airport in the region and from there they will be flown to the Netherlands on a large plane.
“We weren’t trying to leave any space vacant,” Tanking said. “If we have room for Germans, Britons or others, we will take them with us.” According to the colonel, the situation at Kabul airport is still tense, but now there is “reasonable control” over the airport, runway and taxiway. “People don’t run towards planes.” It did so earlier this week; Images of Afghans sticking to military planes went around the world.
Tankink says allowing people to enter Kabul airport at the right time and safely is a big challenge, as many people try to enter the airport at the same time. The evacuation must be done quickly: “Once a plane has stopped and the doors are open, there are thirty minutes for people to board. Then the doors close and the plane takes off. Whoever is at the airport but misses the flight, can join the next flight.”
The Colonel did not know exactly how many people would be expelled or how long it would take to expel them all from Afghanistan. The first take-off flight will arrive in Shipole by this evening. The plane, which was grounded today in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, was carrying 35 Dutch people.
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