Mobility minister wants solution for Brussels Airport noise

Federal mobility minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) wants to see a proposal to deal with noise pollution at Brussels Airport on the table before the summer recess, he told TV channel BX1 on Thursday.

The issue has been a serious problem for years. According to Gilkinet, it has also cost the federal government over 24 million euros in penalties and legal fees since 2015. He aims to present a solution to his colleagues before 21 July.

Gilkinet wants to alleviate noise pollution for those living near the airport, but stresses that many measures have already been taken. Airlines with old, polluting and loud fleets have to pay more charges to air traffic controller skeyes. The federal government decided last year to release 2.7 million euros to allow skeyes to test lower-impact and quieter flight procedures.

'The noise dustbin of Europe'

The airport's environmental licence, a Flemish competence, expires in summer 2024. Gilkinet wants the other regions to be involved, and in a letter to Flemish environment miniser Zuhal Demir (N-VA) asked that the process take into account the position of Brussels municipalities. He has also written to Flemish minister-president Jan Jambon and says he will, if necessary, convene the Consultative Committee – the body on which representatives of the various Belgian governments sit to prevent or settle conflicts.

A study commissioned by environmental agency Bond Beter Leefmilieu revealed this week that flights at Brussels Airport cause disturbance to 220,000 people. The cost of health damage amounts to more than 1 billion euros a year.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam has announced that he plans to scrap all night flights there by the end of 2025. Gilkinet did not comment on this aim, but said Brussels “must not become the noise dustbin of Europe”.




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