Minister enrages residents over Zaventem flightpath

16th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

16 September 2005, BRUSSELS – The news that a short runway at Zaventem airport is to be used again for Saturday afternoon flights has sparked fresh anger from nearby residents.

16 September 2005

BRUSSELS – The news that a short runway at Zaventem airport is to be used again for Saturday afternoon flights has sparked fresh anger from nearby residents.

On Friday, the Belgian media reported that Mobility Minister Renaat Landuyt had ordered Belgacontrol – which manages the air traffic – to use runway 20 on Saturday afternoon and evening and on Sunday morning.

The action group Sterrebeek 2000 accused the minister of flouting a ruling by Belgium's court, the Council of State, last May which banned take-offs from the short runway on Saturday afternoon.

The flight paths at Brussels National Airport are the subject of long-running disputes between residents, government and the regional governments. Residents who live near the airport and below the flight paths have complained of excessive noise and attempts to disperse the number of flights across the city and its periphery have done little to reduce the protests.

Landuyt defended his latest decision, stating it was a temporary measure and that it was proving impossible to follow all the court rulings.

He said the court had also suspended the preferential use of the right runway 25. "If I have to take account of the two decisions of the Council of State, we'll have to close the airport," he said.

On Saturday, runway 25 will be used until 2pm and then runway 20 from 2-11pm.

Landuyt said it was possible that the routes would be changed again next week.

Sterrebeek 2000 called on the Flanders government to halt talks with Landuyt over the airport until Landuyt stops the latest measure.

"By systematically directing everything at runway 20, the minister is declaring war on the residents who live to the south of runway 20," said the organisation in a statement.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news

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