Brussels airport should scrap its proposed ban on night flights - ISS Relocations

Brussels airport should scrap its proposed ban on night flights

Geneva – Brussels Zaventem airport was proposed to ban night flights, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). As the proposal ignores Belgium’s international obligations under the Balanced Approach to noise, including bilateral air service agreements, it is premature. According to the Balanced Approach, flight restrictions should only be implemented as a last resort, at the end of an extensive consultation and cost-benefit analysis, and once all other possible measures of the Balanced Approach have failed to achieve the desired noise reduction results.

In addition, any ban on night flights at Brussels Zaventem airport would negatively impact the Belgian economy and air connectivity. Several cargo flights would be impacted by a night ban. Zaventem is a world-class leader in air freight forwarding for rapid, temperature- and time-controlled shipments of pharmaceuticals, which Belgium is particularly strong at exporting. The airport facilitates a modest but significant number of night flight connections. Africa is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Bans would threaten connections there.

There must be a hearing for the noise concerns of the community around Brussels airport. Gilkinet, however, attempts to circumvent the Balanced Approach, which is deeply regrettable. For managing airport noise impacts, this is the long-accepted and successful international process. Through the Balanced Approach, specific noise mitigation can be achieved while protecting economic and community benefits related to air connectivity. Thousands of jobs will be created as a result. According to Rafael Schvartzman, Regional Vice President for Europe for IATA, “the government must scrap this proposal and engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders instead.”

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