Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Belgium fined more than $6 million for exploiting Brussels airport runway

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summary

  • The Belgian government has fined Brussels Airport €6 million for abusing its short runway and causing loud noise to nearby residents.
  • Runway 01 is used more regularly than wind regulations allow, with 200 to 300 landings per day and noise levels of up to 80 decibels.
  • IATA opposes the ban on night flights proposed by the transport minister, citing its negative impact on the economy.


The Belgian government has been fined for allegedly abusing Brussels Airport’s shortest runway. The landing on the runway caused significant noise pollution to residents near the airport and violated regulations.


Improper use of Brussels runway 01

As reported by Aviation24.be, the Belgian court’s ruling comes after a passenger near Brussels Airport (BRU) complained about “serious disruptions during landings” on the airport’s smaller runway 01. The court ruled in favor of the approximately 1,400 residents who live there. The residents are from Wolwe Santo. – Pierre, Kleinem, Starlebeek and Wesenbeek-Oppem reportedly face noise levels of up to 80 decibels when the runway is in use.

Shutterstock_1587921424 (16-9) - BRUSSELS/BELGIUM - OCTOBER 13, 2019: Outdoor view of Brussels Airport with airport name sign.

Photo: Bilal Kocabas | Shutterstock

The court ruled that the Belgian government had not complied with wind regulations regarding the use of the runway. According to these regulations, the airport’s runway 01 can only be used under certain weather conditions, but instead it is used more regularly than necessary.

As a result, the state was fined 6 million euros ($6.62 million) in damages to affected residents, plus an additional 20,000 euros ($22,095) per day.

Up to 300 landings daily

According to a report in the Brussels Times, the runway accommodates 200 to 300 landings per day, with noise levels well above the level needed to wake people (about 40 decibels). It flies over the sky approximately every four minutes, exposing residents to constant noise pollution.

opposite the runway

Earlier this year, the heads of four municipalities near the airport called for changes to how the airport uses Runway 01, but the issue is ultimately out of their hands because it falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government. I admitted that there was no. Despite this, the mayors claim they have written to Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Georges Girkinet, but that their demands have not been answered.

brussels airport terminal

Photo: Brussels Airport

In July, Minister Gilkinet proposed a night flight ban at the airport, proposing a ban on operations between 23:00 and 06:00. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) weighed in on the proposal, calling for its withdrawal as contrary to the association’s “balanced approach” to solving noise pollution.

Under this approach, business restrictions such as curfews are considered a last resort due to their negative economic impact, and IATA states:Unprecedented negative impact on Belgium’s jobs, connectivity, exports and economy. ”

Do you live in one of the affected communities? How bad is the noise pollution? Let us know in the comments.



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