30 January 2004
BRUSSELS – Despite an increasing number of complaints from local residents, the overall amount of noise made by aircraft taking off and landing at Brussels international airport has fallen steadily over the past four years, say the airport’s managers.
Biac, the company that runs Zaventem airport to the north east of Brussels, said on Thursday that the annual number of night flights in and out of the airport has fallen by over 13000 since 1999.
“We’re not trying to start an argument but you have to accept the evidence that the level of noise from aircraft taking off from Zaventem at night has fallen by half in four years. Unfortunately it’s a message that’s difficult to get across because certain people don’t want to hear it,” said Biac spokesman Paul De Backer.
The question of aircraft noise is central to the current debate over international courier firm DHL’s plans to expand its operations at Zaventem.
If DHL gets its way, night flight numbers at Brussels airport will increase considerably.
For this reason many local residents are opposed to the courier firm’s plans. But DHL has warned that if it is not allowed to expand at Zaventem, it may pull out of Belgium altogether, taking thousands of jobs with it.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news