Brussels to hit federal government with lawsuit over airport noise complaints

Brussels to hit federal government with lawsuit over airport noise complaints
The federal government has paid millions into to Brussels' regional coffers for violations to noise nuisance standards from Brussels Airport. © Belga

The Brussels region will launch fresh legal proceedings against the federal government for failing to tackle the noise nuisance around Brussels Airport.

The federal government has already paid nearly €6 million in fines to the regional coffers over the airport’s violation of noise nuisance standards, Bruzz reports.

The region’s move to bring the matter back to court comes as the total fines paid out by the federal government inch towards the €9 million cap imposed by a previous ruling.

“It is our only leverage to force the federal government to act,” Brussels Environment Minister Alain Maron said. “The periodic penalty payments have been imposed to bring about a change in behaviour (…) but they have not worked.”

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The money from the penalty payments is made available to an environmental fund which uses to finance projects such as improving the sound-proofing of residences near the airport, according to Bruzz.

Citing a study commissioned last year, the federal government said that it could be not be held as the sole authority responsible for the nuisance.

“The regions are competent for noise standards, but also for everything that pertains to spatial planning or insulation,” Jasper Pillen, spokesperson for the federal mobility minister, François Bellot said, adding: “It is not possible to point [the finger] to a single government in this issue.”

In October, the Brussels-Capital Region had received €4.72 million from fines imposed to the federal government, in ongoing strife between both levels of government that risks dragging on, with the federal government currently in a caretaker capacity.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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