Night flight noise for all

4th December 2003, Comments 0 comments

4 December 2003, BRUSSELS – The Belgian government has agreed to spread night flights to and from Zaventem airport across the surrounding area, banning flights from flying over central Brussels.

4 December 2003

BRUSSELS – The Belgian government has agreed to spread night flights to and from Zaventem airport across the surrounding area, banning flights from flying over central Brussels.

The agreement marks what the government hopes will be the end of a long-running controversy involving linguistic favouritism. 

The issue of francophone communes being victim to less noise than their Flemish neighbours dogged both this administration and the previous rainbow coalition.

In future, more runways will be used both during landing and take off, and residents of northeast Brussels in particular will benefit from the changes.

The plan is being introduced immediately and will remain in force until an inventory is made mapping out noise pollution levels around the city - the plan will be evaluated in a year's time.

Under an earlier agreement, flights had been concentrated above the Flemish area northwest of Brussels, leading local residents to take the matter to court because of excessive noise levels. 

The court ordered that all flights should be spread fairly across the entire area and imposed a daily fine of EUR 50,000 if its decision was not implemented.  The deadline set by the court expired Wednesday morning.

The north Brussels Flemish residents’ action group said that they remained disappointed by the new plan, but was not considering immediate further action.

The opposition Flemish Christian Democrat Party CD&V said the accord was a move to avoid paying the heavy daily fine, saying the issue is far from settled and that further talks with the regions would be needed.

The CD&V also said the Brussels region would be contesting Transport Minister Bert Anciaux’s plan.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Belgian news

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