Five communes in the periphery of Brussels have filed suit for a fine of €50,000 a week to be levied after a planned summit on the question broke down. The communes are Machelen, Vilvoorde, Grimbergen, Meise and Wemmel, all in the Flemish region, but all consider themselves particularly affected by noise limits imposed by Brussels region, which have forced airlines to divert their flights over their own territory.
The decision follows a ruling by a court in Brussels in May this year, which forced federal mobility minister to organise a summit of the three regions by 17 September on the subject. Each region has its own mobility minister for local affairs, but subjects like aircraft noise cross all regional boundaries.
A summit was organised before the deadline in the town hall in Leuven, but was cancelled when neither the federal government nor the regions showed up. According to a spokesperson for Bellot, the minister did not consider the format ordered by the court to be appropriate.
“We would have been glad to declare the summit open,” said Chris Taes, chair of the platform for the airport region and mayor of Kortenberg.
The five communes are now demanding a fine of €50,000 a week from the five communes together, as long as no deliberation takes place. Whether the request will be approved, however, is another question.