Google doesn’t want you to see Volkel Airbase (The Netherlands) from above

The following image is a screenshot from GoogleEarth.

It shows Volkel airbase, the Netherlands, blocked out by Google because it is one of the European sites hosting a U.S. nuclear weapon repository.

Volkel is the base of the 312 and 313 Sqn of the RNlAF (Royal Netherlands Air Force): according to Wikipedia, Dutch F-16AMs can at times be seen carrying BDU-38 dummy bombs, which are used to simulate the B61 nuclear bombs, 22 of those are believed to be stored there (as of 2008).

By the way, Bing Maps shows all the base but the northern part, that is blacked-out.

Volkel AB

Someone told this author that the reason for blurring the airport is to comply with the request by the Dutch authorities to hide military installations. Still, this would not explain why Leeuwarden airbase is clearly visibile on Google Earth.

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About David Cenciotti 4451 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.


  1. not only Volkel airbase has been blocked out also Gilze-Rijen (base of most Dutch helicopters) and the naval harbor of Den helder
    but Leuwarden Airbase (F-16 base) has not been blocked out

    so its not mainly because there are nuclear weapons on Volkel (wich is never confirmed or denied by the Dutch Gov)

  2. Actually, the responsibility probably lies with Dutch authorities. Google ususally buys its maps and satellite material from local geographical authorities, which in turn take into account the wishes of the armed forces.

    If you check Bing maps you can see that they are using another version, which still has blurring in the northern part of the area of interest.

  3. All military bases in the Netherlands are censored, so I don’t think it is has to do with nukes.

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