Error delays crucial talks over Zaventem’s future
19 October 2005
BRUSSELS — Crucial talks over a new runway and flight dispersal plan to secure the viability of Zaventem Airport in Brussels were delayed on Tuesday.
The delay was due to criticisms made against the Flemish and Brussels plans by air traffic control authority Belgocontrol.
It appears unlikely that the federal, Brussels and Flemish negotiators will not meet again before Thursday, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported on Wednesday.
The three parties had been scheduled to meet on Tuesday afternoon to try and resolve the deadlock over the drawn out noise pollution dispute.
Brussels Appeals Court recently granted the city government the right to impose fines for every breach of its strict noise pollution regulations.
The deadline for a resolution to the dispute came and went on 15 October. Talks on Friday night failed to broker a compromise and Tuesday’s talks were designed to finally end the deadlock. However, those talks were also postponed.
The Flemish government had first asked on Tuesday for a separate meeting with Federal Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt.
The Socialist SP.A minister then met with Flemish Premier Yves Leterme to clarify the criticism Belgocontrol directed towards the latest Flemish flight dispersal proposal. Experts from the aviation authority were also present at that meeting.
According to the Flemish Environment Minister, Kris Peeters, Belgocontrol was given the incorrect version of the Flemish plan and therefore its criticism was not relevant.
Belgocontrol believed that Flanders was proposing using runway 25L for landings and take-offs, but the Flemish government said it was only proposing to use the airstrip for take-offs.
“We have now delivered Belgocontrol the correct data. We expect a new reaction from them on Thursday,” Peeters said.
Until such time, Peeters said no negotiations between the three parties will be held, but Minister Landuyt said the Flemish minister’s reasoning was “twaddle”.
After the Flemish meeting, a discussion with Brussels government negotiators was planned. Belgocontrol had also raised concerns about the city’s alternative flight procedure plan, especially night flights.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news