Two possible options for adapting the existing runway infrastructure
Brussels Airport must adapt the existing runway infrastructure to satisfy the growing demand of passengers and airlines in the future during peak hours at the airport. In a first stage, we can achieve the necessary capacity by optimising the current runway usage and the procedures.
After that, changes to the infrastructure are required. Our specialists have studied various options for this. One line of thought was the construction of a fourth runway. This was rejected after an initial analysis because a fourth runway would have too great an impact, both socially and in terms of town and country planning.
Two other options, both of which revolve around adapting the existing runways, were developed further. Both scenarios involve changes to runway 07R/25L and can raise the capacity to the required 93 aircraft movements per hour.
Both scenarios offer the following benefits
1. Runways 07R/25L and 07L/25R have the same capacity for landing and take-off.
2. Aircraft can line up more efficiently for take-off on runway 25L.
3. The runway is cleared more quickly when landing on 07R, which reduces the time that aircraft must spend in holding procedures in the airspace around our airport.
Option A: an extension of the taxiway parallel to runway 07R/25L
The taxiway parallel to runway 07R/25L does not extend to the end of the runway. This means that an aircraft has to taxi over the runway and make a U- turn. Because of this, aircraft have to wait longer before they can enter the runway and the capacity drops considerably.
By extending the taxiway down the whole length of the runway, aircraft can line up more efficiently for departure on runway 25L. The point at which the aircraft touch down or become airborne remains unchanged.
Option B: an extension of runway 07R/25L and its taxiway
Runway 07R/25L can be extended by approximately 900 metres towards the east. The taxiway next to the runway will also be extended along the full length of the runway. Here again, aircraft can line up more efficiently.
The point where aircraft touch down remains the same as today, but the point where the aircraft become airborne then shifts 900 metres to the east, whereby they gain height above the airport site.
What is the impact of these two options on our surroundings?
The largest part of the required space is already owned by the airport. The spatial impact of option B will, however, be greater than the spatial impact of option A. The effects on air noise are, in the long term, positive in both scenarios. The positive effect is larger for scenario B.
In both scenarios, ground noise increases in certain areas around the airport. There are, however, possibilities for mitigating measures which may allow the negative effects on the ground noise to be neutralised.
We shall discuss the technical implementation of both options from various perspectives in an open dialogue, for example, in Forum 2040. Possible mitigating measures and the spatial impact they imply will also be discussed further.