Noise pollution in Brussels: already 25 million euros fine

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The Belgian government has paid in recent years 25 million euros in fines for the noise pollution caused by air traffic around Brussels airport, half of the money paid to the Brussels Region, as well as to five Flemish municipalities and residents of eastern Brussels.

While noise pollution is a regional competence in Belgium, air routes are a federal competence: the federal government must therefore pay all fines. According to the study by the daily De Standaard, the Belgian federal government has paid since 2019, 13 million euros in penalty payments to the Brussels Region, where 313 inhabitants from the periphery were right in court “in yet another trial” and received 9.5 million euros.

Belgium has also been paying since May 2021 €50,000 per week to five Flemish municipalities close to Brussels-Zaventem (Grimbergen, Machelen, Meise, Vilvoorde and Wemmel), which a court ruled in favor of the noise pollution generated by the country’s main airport (the promised schedule changes never took place, the same number of planes or almost flying over the communes). In total, these fines now represent 3.2 million euros – and the government has just appealed after a new fine of 1.2 million euros.

In a press release, the Belgian Federal Minister for Mobility Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) affirms that this is a “complex and sensitive file” and a “legacy of the past”. He points out that changing flight routes is not a “sustainable solution”, the nuisance then moving “to other municipalities, which in turn go to court”. ” I will therefore soon present new proposals and a legal framework for more sleep for local residents. “, declared the minister, the airport of Brussels ” should not become Europe’s noise dumpster “. This new “Aviation Law” will only come into effect, however, after a vote – if a compromise not found according to after two years of attempts on the subject maybe finally established…

John Walker Avatar