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No Zaventem deal until 2008, minister warns

28 November 2005

BRUSSELS — Federal Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt has warned an agreement over Zaventem Airport between the federal, Brussels and Flemish governments might not be reached until 2008. 

“I don’t see any politician who dares to close a deal. Deciding is apparently more difficult than taking a stance,” the Socialist SP.A minister said.

Talks over the new use of runways and flights to and from Zaventem have dragged on for months.

The talks are necessary given various court decisions over the airport’s future, the last of which dates back to October. “We were, nevertheless, at a certain moment close [to a deal],” Landuyt said.

The minister still wants talks to continue, but is taking into account the possibility that discussions might continue until 2008 until there is a ‘real’ breakthrough.

In 2008, courier company DHL will have relocated its European headquarters away from Zaventem, news agency Belga reported.
Negotiators earlier came to an agreement that the number of night flights would be restricted to 18,000.

“The situation would then be more stable. Moreover, by that time we will have an aviation which will objectively determine flight procedures,” Landuyt said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news