Forum on Brussels overflights to be held after municipal elections

Forum on Brussels overflights to be held after municipal elections
© Belga

A consultative forum on flights over Brussels will be held after the October municipal elections and the formation of the new municipal councils, the Office of Mobility Minister François Bellot told the Belga news agency on Thursday. However, a Dutch-speaking judge of the Brussels Court of First Instance had ruled on 30 May last that the forum must be held by 17 September at the latest. Under that ruling, the air routes above the northern periphery of the national airport had to be adapted by that date, failing which fines of 50,000 euros per infraction would have to be paid.

The federal government has 90 weeks to adapt flight routes above the communes of Vilvorde, Grimbergen, Machelen, Meise and Wemmel.

The judge had also ruled that a convention should be organised by 17 September at the latest to come up with a decision on the air routes to be used, an “air navigation law” and an accord on the future of Zaventem airport.

The Office of Minister François Bellot (MR – Reformist Movement) announced, however, that the States-General will be held after the 14 October municipal elections. “It would make no sense inviting mayors to the start of a consultative exercise that will be continued with other persons following the elections,” he explained. The actors need to remain the same throughout the entire process for this consultation to remain meaningful, Bellot said.

The minister stressed that he has always advocated a broad-based consultation, “so it will take place, but its format still needs to be decided and will perhaps be adapted with regard to the ruling’s provisions.”

The different scenarios will be analysed in the Government “in due course”.

The Brussels Times

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