Brussels Airport (BRU) infrastructure: future

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Frederik Peeters
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Brussels Airport (BRU) infrastructure: future

Post by Frederik Peeters » 26 Aug 2009, 09:02

After I've seen the topic of "B air its future with LH" and considering my interrests for Brussels airport I wanted to start this topic (my first).

Is it possible that when they notice that the low cost terminal doesn't work they change it to a normal terminal. Or even rebuild it and make it bigger. But this can only be done wen they admit they were wrong (that is when it actually doesn't work).

My 2 question: based on what did they dicided to make offices in the sattelite? And is this only a temporary solution.

And finally does Brussels Airport allready has some plans for the (near)future about rebuilding or building new infratructure?

Frederik
PS: sorry for my english

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zteven
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by zteven » 26 Aug 2009, 09:23

Hm I don't think they will change it into a normal terminal,
IF it doesn't work. At this time there is no need for extra
capacity but who knows what the future brings us.

I don't know what made them decide to redecorate the 'satelliet'
but I do know this is not a temporary solution. Looks like they
will stay there for many years. Why else spend all that money?

Let's hope they have some real plans for future infrastructure,
but I doubt it. They always seem to come up with temporarily
solutions like those stupid T-gates.

Greetz!



Steven

Frederik Peeters
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Frederik Peeters » 26 Aug 2009, 10:49

Thanks steven.

But what or the options than for Bru Airport, to build some new things. Because the old terminal is not an option with the offices and LCT. The plans to enlarge the A-pier look pretty nice. In what stage are these plans or is it just an idee of some people.
And are there still other options in Brussels because I think BRU is already pretty full.

Frederik

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Conti764
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Conti764 » 26 Aug 2009, 11:43

Frederik Peeters wrote:First question...
Rebuilding it (bigger) is impossible since the entire infrastructure is a classified monument. They could use for another purpose then low cost, but in what way? The only possibility I see is to refit it as Brussels Airlines International terminal. The African check-in of SN is in the old departure hall, there is optional room for one more check-in and they could replace the current low cost check-in with a third one (if necessary of course). But then again, they need to build an extra concourse at the old location of 'finger south', and they didn't get a permition for the low cost pier, so... And it would be useless in the afternoon. The problem for Brussels Airport is they face a heavily undercapacity in the morning but an even bigger overcapacity in the afternoon. So every investment done to expand the capacity in the morning will be seen useless for the afternoon. In that view, building a low cost infrastructure which can and will be served in the morning and afternoon, seems more profitable.
My 2 question: based on what did they dicided to make offices in the sattelite? And is this only a temporary solution.
I guess centralizing offices in one building? Besides, customes and (especially) police had to move to a new location since their current location will be subject to a massive renovation of the old infrastructure into a modern buseniss location. The current parking lot at ground level (at the level of Protocol and old crew entrance) is supposed to become a garden (!).
And finally does Brussels Airport allready has some plans for the (near)future about rebuilding or building new infratructure?
They have constantly. But before something will be done, it has to be seen if there is demand and money to build new infrastructure. In my opinion (nothing official) the next major infrastructural development you'll see, is the expansion of the A-concourse.
Last edited by Conti764 on 26 Aug 2009, 11:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Conti764
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Conti764 » 26 Aug 2009, 11:46

zteven wrote: Let's hope they have some real plans for future infrastructure,
but I doubt it. They always seem to come up with temporarily
solutions like those stupid T-gates.

Steven
It's not a stupid solution... If the Western expansion of the A-concourse will become true it would actually become very convenient for Brussels Airlines in case of their transfer activities between euro and non-euro destinations. And that extension if roughly an expanded, permanent T-zone...

kiwiandrew
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by kiwiandrew » 26 Aug 2009, 12:05

the problem with airport infrastructure is that the airlines and pax always want the airport operator to invest in improving it ... but the airlines dont want ( and cant afford ) to pay higher charges and the pax dont want to pay higher fares .... so where is the operator meant to get the money to invest in infrastructure ?

Frederik Peeters
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Frederik Peeters » 26 Aug 2009, 17:30

kiwiandrew wrote:the problem with airport infrastructure is that the airlines and pax always want the airport operator to invest in improving it ... but the airlines dont want ( and cant afford ) to pay higher charges and the pax dont want to pay higher fares .... so where is the operator meant to get the money to invest in infrastructure ?
I don't think this the reason. BAC is like most companies a private company and they try to make as much profit as possible. So one way to make higher profits is just by raising fares, but this is just rubbish.
Airlines and passengers maybe would want to pay a (very) little higher fare if they get something in return. This has to be BAC main goal. To offer one the best (confortable, efficient,...) airport infrastructures.

This will I think automaticly lead to more pax => more airlines => more flights => more profits

Air Key West
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Air Key West » 26 Aug 2009, 22:06

A question (I stress that this is a QUESTION) : aren't airport fees and taxes at BRU already among the highest in Europe (and maybe in the world) ? If the answer is yes, there should be enough money to invest in additonal infrastructure, or am I missing something ? (I'm sure someone will tell me I am ;) )
In favor of quality air travel.

JOVAN
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by JOVAN » 26 Aug 2009, 23:38

Air Key West wrote:A question (I stress that this is a QUESTION) : aren't airport fees and taxes at BRU already among the highest in Europe (and maybe in the world) ? If the answer is yes, there should be enough money to invest in additonal infrastructure, or am I missing something ? (I'm sure someone will tell me I am ;) )
BRU is an expensive airport, with relatively poor service, and poor solutions as to expanding the infrastructure. The Low Cost Terminal, Offices in the Satellite, lack of trolleys, poor maintenance, dirty and disgusting arrival facilities, no taxis or too many taxis, ..

We are all missing a good management at BRU

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zteven
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by zteven » 27 Aug 2009, 00:11

Conti764 wrote: It's not a stupid solution... If the Western expansion of the A-concourse will become true it would actually become very convenient for Brussels Airlines in case of their transfer activities between euro and non-euro destinations. And that extension if roughly an expanded, permanent T-zone...
Aha! 'If the Western expansion of the A-concourse will become true'
is a very important argument. Therefor I totally agree.

A permanent T-zone is good. Not this time-sensitive stuff like they
are doing it now. Last month we had an FQ that was delayed, and
suddenly all the pax had to leave the gate because it became a T
zone. Nice huh? :-)

Greetz



Steven

airazurxtror
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by airazurxtror » 27 Aug 2009, 13:21

Frederik Peeters wrote: Is it possible that when they notice that the low cost terminal doesn't work they change it to a normal terminal. Or even rebuild it and make it bigger. But this can only be done wen they admit they were wrong (that is when it actually doesn't work).
Now, wait a minute : how do you know that the LCC terminal won't work ? Are you more expert than the BRU management ? Have you got a cristal ball ?
I suspect it is just wishful thinking.
Why don't we just give it a fair trial and see what happens ?

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tolipanebas
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by tolipanebas » 27 Aug 2009, 15:43

airazurxtror wrote:Now, wait a minute : how do you know that the LCC terminal won't work ? Are you more expert than the BRU management ? Have you got a cristal ball ?
I suspect it is just wishful thinking.
Why don't we just give it a fair trial and see what happens ?
The Low Cost terminal project was a project of a few years ago, when BRU lacked a strong home carrier and was rightfully trying to diversify its offers and as such attract more pax (even if it meant accepting lower landing fees from them).

However, things have changed quite radically in case you haven't noticed; SN has been bought by LH and will soon join STAR alliance, meaning you won't recognise BRU (or in fact SN) in 5 years.

Already now the first consequences of the STAR integration of SN are starting to show, e.g. Air Canada which is going to serve BRU with a daily flight! This is purely and solely to feed SN's European and African network; without SN joining STAR BRU could have begged for this flight for years still!
And the game will not stop with just AC, I can assure you; many others will follow...

Now, BRU airport is seriously infrastructure limited (especially during the morning rush) and has only a limited space to expand on: the most obvious locations are west of the A pier and the area where the low cost terminal should come.

If I were BRU, I'd start expanding the A pier very soon and turn it into a dedicated STAR terminal, while keeping the area now reserved for the low cost terminal for a future second (smaller) B pier, because it is known network airports also see a surge in traffic from (smaller) airlines who want to benefit from the connections offered, without being in an alliance with the home carrier.

As such, the low cost terminal has become a stupid idea because:
it takes up a far too large percentage of the airport space compared to the revenues it will bring in
it will seriously limid the future potential of BRU to expand
It actually draws too heavily from the current batch of pax already using BRU, rather than bring in new pax
It targets the low end of the market, whereas BRU has the chance to tap into the high end now

As a pax you might be thrilled by the prospect of having the possibility to use a terminal which saves you let's say 15 euro, but what does BRU or any of the current users of BRU win from it? BRU looses 15 euro (the difference between what you'll pay and what you pay now) and the home carrier (and its partners) which are always going to be the biggest and most important customer to BRU, no matter what, will loose a pax... Great plan! NOT
Before, BRU could still argue: better a cheap pax than no passenger at all, but this is no longer a valid argument IMHO as in 5 years time, BRU might truely be an over-crowded place, you know?

A low cost terminal is a project which belongs at airports with an excess of capacity, not at an airport wich will soon have to scramble to accomodate all its top end pax comfortably! Its Like LHR or FRA expanding on the last bit of land they have with a low cost terminal for short haul flights, while BA or LH are having problems to run their long haul networks efficiently due to infrastructure limitations!

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Atlantis
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Atlantis » 27 Aug 2009, 16:39

Frederik Peeters wrote: My 2 question: based on what did they dicided to make offices in the sattelite? And is this only a temporary solution.
BRU decided to centralise all departments in one single building instead of several. Saving costs: tel, fax, walking to an other building, meetings, etc.
The whole building is renovated so it is no temporary.
From the beginning there were some problems when the BAC-people took in their new places, but this is the same in every new project.
The free space in the old terminal is for other airline companies like Jet Airways. They are going to rent it.
Frederik Peeters wrote: BAC is like most companies a private company and they try to make as much profit as possible. So one way to make higher profits is just by raising fares, but this is just rubbish.
Airlines and passengers maybe would want to pay a (very) little higher fare if they get something in return. This has to be BAC main goal. To offer one the best (confortable, efficient,...) airport infrastructures.

This will I think automaticly lead to more pax => more airlines => more flights => more profits
Saying this in front of your computer is very easy. The reality is a lot different. Do you realy think that because of BRU is now in private hands that they can do what they want? Forget it. The government is still for 25% owner of the airport and Macquarie Airports has to listen to them. Money is not the case in this story, but the lack of vision and economical progress, boost are not the words of our government.
Air Key West wrote:A question (I stress that this is a QUESTION) : aren't airport fees and taxes at BRU already among the highest in Europe (and maybe in the world) ? If the answer is yes, there should be enough money to invest in additonal infrastructure, or am I missing something ? (I'm sure someone will tell me I am ;) )


The airport fees are indeed high, but not the highest of Europe or the world. But you can't built a concourse with fees only.

Like I have said in several topics about this subject, there are plans to extent the A-pier to the West but it is not possible to start with it due to Diabolo. Not before 2012.

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RoMax
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by RoMax » 27 Aug 2009, 17:03

But isn't it possible to start some preparations before 2012. And if the Diabolo project is finished in 2011 they can start immediatly after that if they did al the preparations already. I would like to see the expanding of the A concourse but only if they make it ussable for non-schengen flights to, something wich isn't possible with the A pier now. The T gates are a temporary solution becaus it is stupid to drop of your pax at the B pier and than go to the A pier to pick up new pax. So if they want to expand the A pier to the west, they need to make that part usable for non-shengen routes.

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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Frederik Peeters » 27 Aug 2009, 17:23

MR_Boeing wrote:But isn't it possible to start some preparations before 2012. And if the Diabolo project is finished in 2011 they can start immediatly after that if they did al the preparations already. I would like to see the expanding of the A concourse but only if they make it ussable for non-schengen flights to, something wich isn't possible with the A pier now. The T gates are a temporary solution becaus it is stupid to drop of your pax at the B pier and than go to the A pier to pick up new pax. So if they want to expand the A pier to the west, they need to make that part usable for non-shengen routes.
Normally they can start the preparations before 2012 I think. Like the plans and all the other administration. Because that takes a lot of time in this country.

Do they have to adapt the bordercontrol facilities to make the A pier also ussable for non-schengen?

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tolipanebas
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by tolipanebas » 27 Aug 2009, 17:24

MR_Boeing wrote:But isn't it possible to start some preparations before 2012.
That's what I don't get either?
As far as the A Pier is concerned, the Diabolo project is nothing but a train tunnel under its future westerly expansion. It doesnt take more than 2 full years to drill a tunnel of a few hundred now, does it? Besides, I thought the tunnel was already pretty much finished at that location???

The works North of the RWY 25R and South of R3 needn't be a factor, so they shouldn't be an excuse not to start the works on a westernly expansion of the A Pier; otherwise it means the home carrier SN and its STAR partners will have to be housed in unadequate infrastructure till at least 2015 or so!!!!!

But hey, at least the low costs will all be under one nice roof! :evil:

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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Air Key West » 27 Aug 2009, 18:13

The Diabolo project or a direct railway link between Antwerp and BRU should have been built many many years ago. The railway station at the airport has been there since the Expo (1958) and when I started to fly from BRU, I was always astonished that pax to/from Antwerp had to take the sabena bus or a cumbersome train journey to Antwerp. More than twenty years ago, I already thought there should have been a direct railway link between BRU and Antwerp, because Antwerp is Belgium's second most important city and maybe the most important city from an industrial and commercial point of view. The fact that the Diabolo project comes so late shows the lack of vision in this country. The fact that, when people suddenly realize the need of the railway link, it takes forever to build it, is unfortunately also a sign of how dynamic this country is. But, ok, there is no use crying over spilled milk, this is how it is, we cannot changed it anymore.
Even if Australians are (mainly) behind the running of BRU, we are still in Belgium with all that this implies in terms of bureaucracy (we're not the only country with a lot of bureaucracy, but we are a country with a lot of it).
Let's assume that if BRU is not waking up and seeing the need to offer (very soon) extra infrastructure to SN, the LH Group and Star Alliance, LH will probably be blowing the whistle to make people in the nice satellite offices realize they need to wake up and possibly change their strategy.
BTW, BRU seems very quiet about the LCT at the moment. Any explanation ?
In favor of quality air travel.

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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Jipe » 27 Aug 2009, 19:52

As I know untill now,
1) Azur project (LCT) : blocked but check-in desk could be operational if electricity, network and phone marerial and cabling is installed. But it need a very big esthetical work so.

2) Pier A : possibility to extend exist since the first plan of the Pier A but nothing previewed about it since few years. It is possible to create a Star Alliance pier as this one have a complete luggage room competely installed.

3) OT : there is a project to renovate the OT from OT1 to OT10. This building is classed and can't be destroyed and it need to be renovate. Project is blocked for the moment. The renovation of the OT is so the reason of the move to the satellite.

Then, it seems the relocation to the satellite will during few years.

This is only my opinion based about the facts I know in BRU

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Atlantis
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by Atlantis » 27 Aug 2009, 19:59

Bureaucracy indeed. I don't know if you know it but it took years, and I mean more then 5 years, before Infrabel received all necessary papers to start with Diabolo. There are many plans and everything is ready, expand A-pier, extend the current terminal to the west, etc. Look at Brucargo West, phase 2: two handling buildings + parking or one handling building + one land side building and a parking is already more then a year postponed.
Normaly the construction works started in November - December of 2008. We are now at the end of Augutus 2009 because the bureaucracy is behind with all necessary papers.

Again, again and again Macquarie Airports is owner (75%) of BRU but money is nothing when you have to cope with the Belgian bureaucracy who owns 25%.

BTW: you all can say that BRU is late with everything but I'm currious what your reaction would be when BRU was still owned for the full 100% of the Belgian government.
Be glad that the airport is again making profit for years now, new carriers flying to BRU, new modern shops, restaurants find their way to BRU, more and more pax flying to/from BRU.
You would appreciate it when you see the difficult negociations with BRU, the federal government and the regional governments. Aviation and particular running an airport is not that simple. Try it and share it with us within 3 years.

airazurxtror
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Re: Infrastructure of Brussels Airport

Post by airazurxtror » 27 Aug 2009, 20:59

tolipanebas wrote:
As such, the low cost terminal has become a stupid idea because:
it takes up a far too large percentage of the airport space compared to the revenues it will bring in
it will seriously limid the future potential of BRU to expand
It actually draws too heavily from the current batch of pax already using BRU, rather than bring in new pax
It targets the low end of the market, whereas BRU has the chance to tap into the high end now

As a pax in 5 years time, BRU might truely be an over-crowded place, you know?
BRU might be an over-crowded place in 5 years from now, or might not - who can tell ?
At present, the statistics show that BRU is losing quite a lot of traffic by comparison with last year (I don't have the exact numbers at hand, but for instance, in june this year : 9% less pax
http://www.lecho.be/actualite/economie- ... 22-602.art).
CRL, on the contrary, is increasing its traffic month after month, and by a good margin, and is already on the verge of being over-crowded.
http://www.charleroi-airport.com/doc.ph ... e=2&site=1
Moreover, the lower-end passengers, as you say rather snobbishly, have the same right to travel from BRU as anybody else.
May I remind you that BRU was built with public money provided by every belgian tax payer, and that it is still 25 % owned by the Belgian state, ie by every citizen, not only by the top-end happy few ?

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