Cargo carriers likely to leave Brussels airport over new noise restrictions

Simgapore Airlines Cargo, Air Cargo Global and Asiana Airlines have indicated their intentions to move cargo operations away from Brussels National-Zaventem if plans to enforce  tough new noise restrictions go ahead.

A Singapore Airlines Cargo 747-400F in Brussels National-Zaventem. Copyright: Peter Bakema on wikimedia

Two carriers have already decided to leave, with Saudia heading to Frankfurt, and Yangtze River Airlines moving to Amsterdam.

The new regulations are due to come into effect on March 1, 2017. Additionally, excesses will no longer be tolerated from January 1, with severe fines for every infraction.

Citizen gourds say that the airport is too close to the city for the number of flights it currently handles. In November 2016, Brussels National (BRU) has handled almost 35,000 tonnes of cargo on 1,341 flights. Total cargo for the January-November period is up 4.4% on the same period last year.

Airport CEO Arnaud Feist claims that the airfield will lose 25% of its freight activity due to the new regulations while passenger airlines will also be negatively affected.

“With the end of tolerances, not only will night flights not be carried out, but standards will be so strict that many day flights will be condemned as well,” Belgium’s Luchtzak news quoted Feist as saying. “Brussels Airlines’ A320s will no longer be able to take off between 6 and 7 am. When the day comes that this Belgian airline is fined between EUR5,000 and EUR10,000, I do not think that the parent company Lufthansa will be amused and this will not help us to keep Brussels Airlines’ business in Brussels.”

Also, spokeswoman Nathalie Van Impe adds that removing freight from the airport would be “economic and social suicide”.

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