The Civil Section of the Brussels Court of First Instance held partially in favour of the region and the Brussels communes, in their environmental prohibitory nuisance injunctions. These were initiated in June 2016 by the Brussels Minister for the Environment, Céline Fremault (cdH).
The court passed judgement against the Belgian state to stop the breaches of the noise nuisance notice in the Brussels region, in theory, relating to the use of so-called the “Canal Route”, “including for the period between 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.” However it refused to allow the absolute request to withdraw this route for airlines.
The court also passed judgement against the Belgian state to stop breaches of noise nuisance concerning the use of the Brussels Ring Road and the airline route used for landings on the short runway 01, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
As part of the judgement against it the Belgian state must produce, at its own expense, an objective impact study of noise nuisance generated by the use of the national airport and possible alternatives. This appears in the findings of the judgement which runs to a good one hundred pages
As a consequence, the state has now has four months to adapt the rules for using airline routes and to communicate these to the Brussels region, the state otherwise being at risk of incurring penalty payments. In any case, if it is unable to provide details of these operational changes to the region, the latter then has the right to ask for “a substantive and material explanation of reasons” as to why this is the case.