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'Conflict of interest': Flanders goes after Brussels Airport for shifting noise to Flemish municipalities

08:37 18/10/2023

The Flemish government is calling Brussels Airport’s decision to shift flight routes a "conflict of interest".

Brussels Airport has been under consistent fire for years now regarding noise pollution, which has led to an adjustment in flight paths.

But Flemish minister Ben Weyts (N-VA), who is responsible for the 19 municipalities that encircle the Brussels region, said the adjustment has only shifted the noise nuisance to Flanders.

According to Walter Vansteenkiste, mayor of Wemmel in Flemish Brabant and chairman of the airport region platform, new flight routes have been in force since 5 October. These changes affected both day and night flights.

Citing research by the Flemish environment ministry, Weyts said that residents of municipalities in the northern and north-west Vlaamse Rand have been experiencing more noise pollution from overflying aircraft in recent days so that those in the capital experience less.

As a result, the Flemish government decided to invoke a conflict of interest before the consultative committee.

In Belgium, a conflict of interest triggered by a government is settled before the committee, which has 60 days to reach a decision.

Written by Helen Lyons