Last Tuesday a dozen Brussels Airport neighbours have filed a complaint against an advertisement (“5 facts about Brussels Airport”) that appeared in last weekend’s editions of two French language newspapers L’Echo and La Libre Belgique. They call the advertisement “false and fake” and say that Brussels Airport “uses forgery and manipulation at the expense of public health“.
The action group ‘Bruxelles Air Libre’ (Brussels Free Air) refutes these points one by one: “The text is a series of factual errors with the aim to manipulate public opinion by “touching a string””.
|5 facts about Brussels Airport (what Brussels Airport says)||5 lies about Brussels Airport (what Bruxelles Air Libre says)|
|3,000 residents from Brussels, 2,400 persons living in Wallonia and 14,600 in Flanders come to work at Brussels Airport every day||3,000 poorly paid jobs in Brussels represent less than 10% of the total payroll.|
|The number of neighbouring residents who suffer from noise pollution has decreased by more than 50% since 2000||The argument is obviously false, 2000 being the year of maximum traffic. In addition, studies of this type carried out by Flemish experts are often biased, estimating the number of victims at 15 or 20,000, whereas in reality they are more than 600,000 as indicated by the ULB studies, taking into account the current configuration of air routes. The planes are perhaps more efficient than before, but also bigger and bigger and loaded for reasons of profitability, which on the contrary increases their nuisances and their penetration over the city.|
|Brussels Airport is not the only airport to be located so close to a major city:
Paris : 19 kilometres
|Runway 25R ends at 2 km from Haren which is part of Brussels-City. Pretending that the airport is 11 km away from Brussels is a pure lie. As for the other European airports near major cities, they are already closed at night, or they have better runways, or they develop a sustainable policy of overflights avoiding densely populated areas, or they construct new runways avoiding the city. Zaventem is probably the only major European airport with all the defects.|
|Taking away cargo from Brussels Airport would be economic and social suicide||There is a difference between the “belly cargo” (which is taken during the day on passenger flights) and the “cargo only” that is carried on dedicated cargo aircraft, especially at night. For the latter, we call on Brussels Airport to form partnerships with regional airports to distribute freight traffic. Far from being an economic and social suicide, the distribution of freight on several platforms would instead be a lever of development for the whole country. For example, DHL’s cargo platforms in Germany, England, Italy and Spain are all very far from urban centers.|
|An aviation act is imperative to end a Kafkaesque situation||The wish of Brussels Airport is clearly to freeze the current airways through a law to “silence” the victims of overflight. A funny conception of dialogue, especially when one announces a pharaonic development without consulting anyone except private shareholders. For Brussels Air Libre, no aviation act (vliegwet) can be adopted until real lasting solutions are implemented.|