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Citizens take legal action over aircraft noise
A group of 150 people have begun joint legal action against flight noise from Brussels Airport, in what is claimed to be a Belgian first.
The class action lawsuit, organised by several neighbourhood committees, has been filed against Brussels Airport, air traffic controller Belgocontrol, the Belgian federal mobility department and other persons unknown.
"This is the first time in Belgium that such a large group of citizens has filed a formal public health complaint in this way," said Charles Six, one of the coordinators, who described flight nuisance as "daily torture".
The complainants say noise disturbance, vibrations in their homes and exposure to pollution are violations of the law. Their lawsuit calls for lasting solutions to be found, as well as immediate temporary fixes such as the stopping of night-time flights and the transfer of freight operations to other airports.
Last July, a court in Brussels ordered the cessation of three flight routes above Brussels between 23.00 and 7.00 because aircraft are in breach of noise levels. The decision concerned the Canal Route and the Ring Route, as well as the approach route to runway 01 at Brussels Airport. A request to have the Canal Route shut down entirely was turned down.
The court also ordered the Belgian state to finance and carry out a study into noise nuisance caused by operations at Brussels Airport, and into possible alternatives.