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Damages awarded to airport’s neighbours

Published on 27/02/2007

27 February 2007

The Federal minister for mobility, Renaat Landuyt, has said he intends to appeal the court decision that the Belgian state should pay damages of EUR 725,000 to residents living in the vicinity of Zaventem airport.

The court ruled that the usage of one of the airport’s short runway was excessive. Following a previous court order this runway was only meant to be used when wind conditions did not allow planes to land or take off on other runways.

In practice, air traffic control would open the short runway when the wind conditions deteriorated but often kept it open throughout the day even when the wind quieted down in the course of the day.

According to the minister the government cannot be blamed for any wrong-doing since the decision to use the runway is a safety issue. The minister also said that air traffic control had modified its procedures to be more responsive to the direction and strength of the wind.

Renaat Landuyt also added that the EUR 725,000 in compensations was a theoretical fine and that  more time was needed before we know if it will be paid.

[Copyright Expatica 2007]

Subject: Belgian news