The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has strongly opposed the proposed night flight ban at Brussels Airport, saying that such a proposal should be scrapped.
According to IATA, the proposal to impose a ban on night flights at Brussels Airport is premature as it disregards the international obligations of Belgium under the Balanced Approach to noise.
As IATA explains, the Balanced Approach states that restrictions on flights should only be applied as a last resort following a detailed consultation as well as a cost-benefit analysis and when other possible measures of the Balanced Approach have been exhausted.
Apart from the above-mentioned, IATA stressed that any flight ban would have a negative impact on Belgium’s economy and air connectivity.
“It is vital that the government scrap this proposal and instead engage in a meaningful consultation with stakeholders,” IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe, Rafael Schvartzman, said.
He further said that concerns related to the noise must be heard while at the same time emphasising other suitable measures should be taken instead of imposing a ban on night flights.
“The Balanced Approach specifically helps to mitigate noise while protecting the benefits of air connectivity for the economy and community both near the airport and across Belgium as a whole, not least in terms of thousands of jobs,” Schvartzman added.
According to IATA, cargo flights will be the most impacted in case the Airport decides to impose the ban. This would represent a major problem as Belgium is strong in pharmaceutical imports.
As for air connectivity, it has been stressed that the connections to Africa would be particularly threatened by the ban.
The announcement of Brussels Airport on the planned night flight ban came earlier in May.
Back then, the CEO of Brussels Airport, Arnaud Heist, said that stricter rules would be introduced for flights landing or taking off during the night.
As Heist explained, once the ban is introduced, all aircraft that enter the runaway after 11 pm and do not have a night slot will be asked to return to the gate as well as disembark the passengers.
This means that all flights that do not have a slot will have to wait until to next day to depart or pay a fine if they land at the airport after 11 pm.
About 1,600 flights per year use night slots at Brussels Airport without being allocated one.