Air Cargo Global leaving Brussels Airport due to noise nuisance norms

Air Cargo Global, a carrier from Slovakia, is turning its back on Brussels Airport. Some 200 jobs are being shed. The cargo company blames the stringent noise nuisance norms and the continuing uncertainty, and is moving its freight activities to Prague and Amsterdam.

Air Cargo Global had two Boeing 747-400 freight planes at the Zaventem-based airport. Their last flight took place this week. "We are talking about some 200 jobs which are being lost. These jobs will move to somewhere abroad, they will not stay in Belgium", says Kasper Demol of the umbrella organisation defending the interests of cargo companies. "The job losses are caused by the Brussels noise nuisance standards."

The Brussels Region imposed very strict noise standards (more stringent than those imposed by the Flemish Region, many aircraft are now exceeding the noise limits as a result, red.) and started imposing fines a couple of weeks ago. It's just a technical procedure as yet; the fines do not have to be paid for the moment.

Wake-up call?

"In Brussels, they say the fines will only have to be paid in 1.5 to 2 years' time, but the tickets are coming in, and companies will have to write this in their books now", says Kasper Demol. "Compared to last year, we see that the number of fines has surged with 500 percent."

Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist warned politicians again that Air Cargo Global's departure is a "clear signal" towards Belgian politicians to find a solution. The Flemish government is at loggerheads with the Brussels Regional authorities on the issue.

Ryanair has a solution

Ryanair has found a way to address the problem. The Irish low-cost carrier is gaining altitude much quicker just after take-off, in order to be already higher in the air when flying above the measuring instruments.