Frequently Asked Questions
Dialogue is an integral part of our Strategic Vision 2040. Since the Brussels Airport 2040 website was launched, we have received hundreds of mails and all kinds of questions which we have answered individually. Here you will find the answers to a selection of frequently asked questions.
Is your plan realistic in a region that’s already under so much pressure in terms of mobility?
We’ve set ourselves the objective of achieving a 50-50 modal distribution by 2040. According to that distribution, only 50 % of journeys to the airport will still be made by privately-owned cars. We’re therefore focusing all our attention on the supply of public transport and better cycle routes. This variety in the supply of means of transport represents a real asset for the region around the airport. Of course, the car will still account for a large proportion of journeys to and from the airport. To ease congestion on the ring road, one solution under consideration is the opening of a new approach road near the southern zone of the airport. It’s the varied supply of services that will make life easier for the users. There is, for example, the decentralised baggage drop-off, the decentralised car park for airport passengers and staff, the free shuttle service to and from the airport and much more besides.
A larger airport means more passengers, more employees, more people coming to Brussels Airport. How are you planning to achieve the proposed 50-50 modal split?
Brussels Airport Company is particularly focusing on public transport, shared transport such as car-sharing, and improved bicycle connections.
In order to stimulate the use of public transport, Brussels Airport is planning to integrate all means of transport in the terminal. Passengers will have direct access to the departure hall and commuters will be able to transfer smoothly from one means of transport to the other. This inter-modal hub will be further developed by the implementation of additional train and bus services, two new tram routes and the expansion of the network of cycle paths. The service for car-sharing will also be developed further. In this way, passengers and commuters will have more possibilities for getting to the airport and they will be able to change their itinerary easily.
What are you going to do about parking possibilities in and around Brussels Airport?
Many companies will want to move to the airport, there is a lot of room for property developments, etc. Where will all these people be able to park their cars? Brussels Airport will undertake a limited expansion of the parking facilities at the airport. We are primarily looking at car parks a little farther away from the terminal, such as a car park at Brucargo and also to the south of the airport. From there, car drivers/passengers can travel to the terminal on an airport shuttle. In addition, we also want to cooperate with the public transport operators to construct and expand car parks at important junctions.
The construction of car parks will be linked to the growth of the airport. They will only be built when we experience that the existing car parks are no longer sufficient for the growing number of passengers and employees. We will continue to stimulate a greater use of public transport, shared transport and use of the bicycle.
In 2000, there were 326 000 aircraft arrivals and departures with the current layout of the runways. How do you explain the need to extend the taxiway or even the take-off runway when there’s 30% less traffic today?
The main difference compared to the past is volume. This is much greater during peak periods, which are, themselves, becoming increasingly significant. The current use of the take-off and landing runways will no longer be enough to meet the growing number of passengers and airlines during peak periods, particularly in the morning and late afternoon, the times most in demand. As operator of the airport, it’s up to us to guarantee the capacity of our runways and to make the necessary investments in good time.
In both cases, the impact in terms of space in the area around the site is very evident. Have you already considered scenarios to compensate the people affected?
The Strategic Vision 2040 is a vision and is by no means a detailed plan. Once it has been examined in more detail, we will, along with the responsible authorities, be looking at what measures can be taken to compensate the people affected. In this regard, various possibilities have also been provided for to do something for the people concerned. When we enter the definite planning stage, we will hold discussions with the people affected and look at any suggestions.
Can’t the same noise-level standards be applied to the whole of Belgium?
It would be perfectly logical to apply a stable operational framework to the whole of the country. That would also result in fairer competition: in that way, all Belgian airports would have to follow the same rules. However, in our federal State structure, the environment is a regional matter. That’s the point taken as a basis by the Brussels Region in setting noise-level standards unilaterally. For the local residents too, stability and predictability are important aspects. And that’s why it’s vital for the regions and federal government to succeed in reaching an agreement on this subject.
Why did you reopen the applications for Forum 2040?
The initial invitation to apply for a seat on Forum 2040 was a huge success. Now that the date of the first session is approaching, we thought it was important to reopen applications in view of the many requests we received and more particularly because we assume that some of the potential candidates now have a better idea of their availabilities.
Above all and foremost, Forum 2040 is a dialogue platform open to anyone who expresses an interest and is motivated to participate in a constructive manner.
Which are the criteria used to select the persons who will actually sit on the Forum?
Forum 2040 aims to ensure a balanced composition based on the motivation, profile and place of residence of the participants. These are also the criteria which the members of the independent jury will use to select the participants.
This whole process, how independent is it really?
Brussels Airport Company took the initiative for Forum 2040 and has set up the whole process for the reasons explained on the website www.brusselsairport2040.be. Brussels Airport Company is responsible for facilitating this process with the help and advice of experts in the matter. The ultimate goal of this consultation is to have a nuanced dialogue which will result in useful feedback for Brussels Airport Company. This means that Brussels Airport Company has no interest whatsoever in tampering with the process. Hence, the contribution of the participants is essential to come to a constructive debate in which every opinion is equally valued.
Will there be a dedicated area for plane spotting?
In our strategic vision the plane spotters were not forgotten. Stay informed about further developments and subscribe to our spotters’ newsletter by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can we find the construction plans? Are they available online?
To this day no construction plans exist. Brussels Airport 2040 is a strategic vision that will serve as a basis for a dialogue between all stakeholders: local residents, politicians, businesses, etc. The 3D renderings of the buildings used on the website and on Flickr are not the final plans. The 3D images are merely used to give the visitor an idea of what the airport might look like in 2040. These projects are neither final nor approved and are therefore not currently being carried out.
Is it possible to obtain further details on the flight routes?
All information about flight routes and runway usage is available on www.batc.be. We are unable to give you the flight routes in case the runway is extended as the flight routes are determined by the Federal Government. In our strategic vision, we expect to need a capacity of 93 movements per hour at peak moments and in all weather conditions.
Several independent consultancy firms have carried out studies into the noise impact of both options. To do this, they started from the existing flight routes. The results of these studies as well as any mitigating measures will be discussed within Forum 2040.
How will this gigantic change benefit operational staff?
One of the most important elements of our strategic vision is the creation of thousands of jobs, both direct and indirect. Thousands of jobs in the most diverse areas, open to the majority of the workers, regardless of their qualifications. Given the wide range of jobs at the airport, job opportunities will continue to grow.
My question is about option B “extension of runway 07R/25L”: what are the benefits of this option compared to option A? Does a longer runway allow for a higher number of take-offs/landings or is it necessary to accommodate larger aircraft?
Both options are equivalent on an operational level and in terms of capacity. The difference between both options is that the point at which aircraft taking off from runway 07R/25L become airborne will be moved 900m to the east. This means that they reach a higher altitude above the airport site which reduces air noise. However, the impact on air noise and the spatial impact of option B will be greater than that of option A.
In alternate mode, the touch-down zone is moved. Aircraft approaching runway 07R will be at a higher altitude than today which will reduce air noise in the approach area. However, the impact on air noise and the spatial impact of option B will be greater than that of option A.