Brussels Airport wants to treat night flights at its airport more strictly. A reduction of 10% of night flights, or about 1,500 flights per year, airport CEO Arnaud Feist announced, adding that he will not change anything about the current cap on night flights, the ministerial decree says that the slot coordinator may not distribute more than 16.000 airport slots per year.
“A further restriction on night flights would have a very clear impact on our operations and jobs,” he said during a press conference held today. Night activities at Brussels Airport account for 14,000 direct and indirect jobs, Feist added.
The airport operator suggests to take stricter action against flights that do not have a night slot (an allocated departure or landing right), but still take off or land at Brussels Airport during the night (between 23:00 and 6:00). Taking off after 23:00, without a valid slot time would thus be prohibited. Now, delayed aircraft can still depart after 23:00, however with a valid reason.
“That would no longer be possible,” Feist said, “an aircraft that comes onto the runway after 23:00 will have to return to the gate and disembark the passengers.”. This also happens at Frankfurt airport in Germany, for example, he added. Flights that land at Brussels Airport during the night without a correct slot time would be fined.
“We calculated that this would reduce the number of night flights by 1,500 to 1,600 per year,” says Feist. He stressed that those flights will not disappear from the airport, but that the airlines will have to ensure that they depart before the set time.
Brussels Airport recently submitted its proposal to Belgian Minister of Mobility Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo). At the beginning of April, the minister said that he wants to bring a solution for the noise nuisance around the airport and this before the summer recess.
Feist called the proposal “a strong signal to local residents that we take their concerns into account.“