The Defense Ministry wants to evacuate residents of Kabul about three times a day over the coming period, Col. Peter Tankink told the ANP news agency. He is responsible for coordinating evacuations. The intention is that the evacuees fly first to an airport in a country in the region and that they are transported from there to the Netherlands in a larger plane.
“We’re not trying to leave seats empty,” Tankink says. “If we have room for Germans, Brits or others, we’ll take them with us.” According to the colonel, the situation at Kabul airport is still tense, but there is now “reasonable control” over the airport site, runway and taxiway. “There is no one running towards the planes.” Earlier this week he did; images of Afghans hanging from military planes traveled the world.
Tankink says it is a big challenge to allow people to enter Kabul airport on time and safely, as a lot of people are trying to enter the airport at the same time. And the evacuation must be done quickly: “As soon as a plane stops and the doors open, we have thirty minutes to let people get on. Then the doors close and the plane leaves. Who is at the airport but misses the flight, can join the next flight. “
The colonel does not know exactly how many people need to be evacuated or how long it will take to get everyone out of Afghanistan. A first evacuation flight will arrive at Schiphol later in the evening. There are 35 Dutch on this plane, which stopped over in the Georgian capital Tbilisi earlier today.
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