The Dutch government wants to replace air raid sirens with NL-Alert at the end of 2025

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The outgoing cabinet announced on Thursday that it wants to replace the air raid siren with NL-Alert by the end of 2025. The alarm system would have a greater range than the current air raid siren, which is rarely used.

In a letter to Parliament, outgoing Minister of Justice and Security Dilan Yeşilgöz writes that the maintenance contracts for the Alarm System will expire at the end of 2025. After that, it becomes more expensive to maintain the system. After 2026, maintenance would cost around 160 million euros, says Yeşilgöz.

The ministry is also committed to making NL-Alert 'a mature and fully-fledged alert instrument'. For example, a test message was sent to Dutch people in December. According to the minister, there was a reach of 92 percent among citizens aged twelve and older. In the past, the Security Council still had concerns about the reach of NL-Alert. According to Yeşilgöz, a majority of the council expressed its support for phasing out the Alert System in December.

“At best, the siren can be heard by about 75 percent of the people. This will decrease further because In new residential areas, smaller residential areas or locations where the audibility of the Alarm System is affected by changes in buildings, such as high-rise buildings, sirens have only been added in a few cases. (…) The survey conducted shows that 75 percent of people thinks that the Alarm System can be heard in all residential areas. That is not the case,” the minister writes.

Correction: the article initially stated that the message to Dutch people from twelve years and older was sent, but that was the result of the survey.