The plans, unveiled last week by federal minister for mobility Melchior Wathelet, aim to direct as many flights as possible over the canal zone in Brussels and over the Ring on the northern side, in an effort to minimise the nuisance caused by aircraft noise.
However, Actie Noordrand said the plan would instead concentrate flights over Koningslo, Grimbergen, Meise and Wemmel, and subject residents there to even more nuisance than at present. The plans, it said, were the result of political lobbying by Brussels French-speaking politicians intent on sparing their residents at the expense of the Flemish in neighbouring municipalities.
Wathelet’s plans in fact date back to 2008 and 2010, and a previous government of which he was not a member. Those plans could not be implemented because of the fall of the government and the year-long struggle to form another. Since the government was formed in December, the plans have been under consideration. The number of possible take-off routes is cut from over 100 to only 40. As well as reducing noise nuisance, the plan also cuts out many routes that cross each other, to improve safety.