Citizens' group bemoans lack of progress on noise pollution around Brussels Airport

Citizens' group bemoans lack of progress on noise pollution around Brussels Airport
Credit: Belga

An association representing residents of areas near Zaventem Airport has come out against what it sees as governmental inaction on noise pollution.

Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet has been in office for exactly two years and since then not a iota of progress has been made on noise pollution around Zaventem Airport, the Belgian Union against Noise Pollution (UBCNA-BUTV) charged in a statement.

The UBCNA-BUTV, which is the oldest association of residents near the airport, is active in and around the Brussels area.

The union accuses the minister of refusing to meet with them, unlike former mobility ministers, "who at least received us and came on site."

"We have not had any contact with Gilkinet's office for two years. The cabinet seems clueless, does not meet with anyone and refuses all contact," CEO Peggy Cortois said.

The union regrets recent statements by Gilkinet about aviation. The minister confused departing aircraft with landings and also confused noise standards - a regional competence - with noise levels - a federal competence.

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The UBCNA-BUTV also questioned the usefulness of the States General, whose September meeting, it said, was cancelled for "unclear" reasons.

"We have learnt that Minister Gilkinet, in violation of the special laws on regional powers, quietly negotiated with Flanders in May on the basis of a declaration of intent, whereas his office advised him to talk only to the associations," the UBCNA-BUTV complained.

"Minister Gilkinet has all the studies and analyses needed to take steps forward and make decisions. As a minister, he must act," the association urged.

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