Pressure mounts as Zaventem deadline nears
12 October 2005
BRUSSELS — As pressure mounts to resolve the Zaventem Airport noise pollution dispute, Federal Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt will unveil a compromise proposal on Thursday.
However, the clock is ticking as a 15 October deadline imposed by the Brussels Appeals Court quickly approaches. The court recently ruled that Brussels could impose fines every time the city’s noise regulations are breached.
As Flanders, Brussels and the federal government try and resolve the dispute, the Flemish government said on Wednesday it would back a proposal raised by Flemish negotiators.
Flemish Environment Minister Kris Peeters said he will continue to push for a reasonable spread of night-time flights, but refused to reveal full details of the plan.
What the proposals do entail is using a different runway each night for all flights to and from the airport. The aim is to spread the burden of noise pollution from the airport evenly between Brussels and Flanders.
However, the proposal was met with opposition from Brussels Premier Charles Picqué and the city’s Environment Minister, Evelyne Huytebroeck. Federal minister Landuyt has also raised doubts about the plan.
Earlier this week, Picqué and Huytebroeck put forward their own proposal to try and resolve the dispute, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.
They suggest returning to the pre-1999 dispersal plan with a few minor modifications and extending the time officially classed as night to 7am.
It is now up to Landuyt to make the Flemish proposal compatible to the Brussels plan. He is preparing a compromise scheme and hopes to reach an agreement with all parties before the weekend.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news