Since last April, airline companies have begun to be prosecuted for causing excessive noise nuisance in Wallonia, Sudpresse reported in its Tuesday editions. This is happening at a time when for the past 15 years the penalty system has been ineffective.
“Since April 26 2019, 17 cases have been made against airlines. Nine in Liège and eight in Charleroi,” the Walloon minister for airports Jean-Luc Crucke (MR), explained. Of these 17 cases, nine warnings were issued, one administrative penalty applied, one case closed and six are under consideration. In Charleroi, Ryanair received eight warnings. In Liège, Astral Aviation faced an administrative fine of €200.
For penalties to be applied, it needed a location order for fixed sound-level meters to be adopted, something that had been lacking since 2004. This has now been rectified, since the ministerial order in question was published in the Moniteur belge on last April 26.
It is currently the size of the penalty being imposed that is being singled out for attention. “It’s as if a €10 fine were being given to a hit-and-run driver travelling at 100 km/h in a built-up area. It is important to get this sorted out and to make sure that Wallonian skies are not a lawless zone,” Ecolo MP Christophe Clersy commented.