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IATA Attacks Plan to Ban Night Flights at Brussels Airport

Airlines association IATA has hit out at the Belgian government’s plan to ban night flights at Brussels airport.

Belgian mobility minister Georges Gilkinet has proposed a complete ban on night flights at Brussels Zaventem airport as a way to reduce noise pollution.

But IATA called this plan “premature” as it ignored the country’s international obligations to take a “balanced approach” to noise created from flights.

“The balanced approach explicitly states that flight restrictions should be applied as a last resort, only after a detailed consultation and cost-benefit analysis, and when the noise benefits to be gained from other possible measures of the balanced approach have been exhausted,” argued IATA in a statement.

The association added that a ban on night flights would have a “negative impact on the Belgian economy and for air connectivity”, including the possible loss of routes between Brussels and fast-growing African destinations.

Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s regional vice president for Europe, said: “The noise concerns of the community around Brussels airport must be heard, but it is profoundly unfortunate that minister Gilkinet has attempted to circumvent the balanced approach, which is the long-accepted and successful international process for managing airport noise impacts. 

“It is vital that the government scrap this proposal and instead engage in a meaningful consultation with stakeholders.”

Reducing noise pollution is also one of the main reasons for the Dutch government’s plan to reduce the number of flights permitted at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, which has been subject to a legal battle with airlines.

Source: Business Travel News Europe