Zaventem unveils airport expansion plans
7 July 2004
BRUSSELS – The mayor of the Brussels suburb of Zavantem on Monday unveiled controversial new expansion plans for the capital’s airport.
Speaking to Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Niews, bourgemestre Francis Vermeiren explained that he had approved plans to build a new ‘airport village’ at Zaventem airport.
The new development would include offices, a conference centre and a hotel, he explained.
Analysts say critics of Zaventem airport are likely to see the move as more evidence that air traffic in and out of Zaventem will increase over the coming years.
Many local residents complain the airport is already far too noisy and causes major environmental health problems, especially at night.
On Sunday, for example, there was a major demonstration in central Brussels to complain about airport noise around Zaventem.
The organisers said 4000 people took part in the protest.
The police put the number at around 1000.
The question of airport noise has emerged as a major issue in the European and regional elections to be held in Belgium this coming weekend.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news