New Zaventem flight plan suspended
13 May 2005
BRUSSELS – The long-running dispute over airport noise at Zaventem airport northeast of Brussels took a new twist when an advisory panel suspended the government’s new take-off and landing plan, it was reported Friday.
The Conseil d’Etat, the panel charged with deciding the constitutionality of federal legislation, made the decision in an emergency session following complaints by residents of several Brussels area communes most affected by the plan.
A new plan adopted by the government last month foresees changes in takeoff and landing schedules at Zaventem and the adoption of a new legal framework governing night flights.
The UBCNA, the Belgian union against airplane nuisances, lambasted the agreement as a “bad decision” that does little to ease residents’ concerns about noise pollution. According to the group, the Conseil d’Etat suspended implementation of the plan with immediate effect.
Potential fines imposed on the Belgian government would be based on a court victory in favour of 64 residents of suburbs located near the airport’s eastern edge.
The state council, according to UBCNA, was particularly concerned about the use of a particularly short runway, which the court had also deemed “dangerous” and “illicit”.
It also said that the plan would merely lead to a new concentration of airplanes in the eastern zone on weekends, defeating the whole purpose of the legislation.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian News