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Brussels Airport hopes to scrap 1,500 night flights

The Brussels Airport Company that is responsible for Belgium’s biggest and busiest airport at Zaventem in Flemish Brabant intends to tighten its criteria for allowing night flights. It is hoped that by doing so the number of night flights in and out of Zaventem will fall by 10% or around 1,500 night flights per annum. 

Brussels Airport’s CEO Arnaud Feist stresses that the intention is not to reduce the upper limit on the total number of night slots at Zaventem that currently stands at 16,000/annum, but rather to act more strictly towards flights that haven’t been given a night slot allowing them to take off or land between 11pm and 6am.

Mr Faust said that the airport’s proposal sends out “a strong signal to those living around the airport that we are taking into consideration their concerns”. 


This means that aircraft that don’t have a night slot will be banned from taking off after 11pm. Currently planes that have been delayed (for a valid reason) are allowed to do so.

Mr Feist told journalists that "An aircraft that goes onto the runway after 11pm and doesn’t have a night slot will have to return to the pier and let the passengers get off”. Brussels Airport’s CEO added that this is what happens at other airports such as Frankfurt. Flights that land at Zaventem between 11pm and 6am and don’t have a night slot will be issued with fines.

"We have calculated that by doing this the number of night flights should fall by between 1,500 and 1,600 per annum”, Mr Feist said. He went on to stress that there won’t be fewer flights, but rather that airlines will simply have to ensure that their planes depart before 11pm.

Brussels Airport has passed on its proposals to the Federal Transport Minister Georges Gilkinet (Francophone green). The General Directorate for Aviation will make a final decision on whether the proposals will be implemented. 

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