Derk-Jan founded AELS in 2006 and since then he is the general manager of the organisation. His current tasks are overseeing aircraft acquisition, the sales departments and finance. Derk-Jan is also AFRA’s Deputy Director. He's been around old aircraft from the day he started working on his MSc thesis on end-of-life aircraft at the Delft University of Technology, “I have definitely done Malcolm Gladwell’s 10.000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in the field of aircraft end-of-life.”
After work Derk-Jan “tries” to play guitar and develop his unique skill of telling terrible inappropriate jokes.
His most memorable aviation moment was: “Last flight of Boeing 707 with original engines in 2011 after which we disassembled it.”