Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport ( IATA: BRU, ICAO: EBBR) (also called Brussel Nationaal/Bruxelles-National (Brussels National)) is an international airport 6 NM (11 km; 6.9 mi) northeast of Brussels, Belgium. The airport is partially in Zaventem partially in the Diegem area of Machelen. Brussels Airport currently consists of 54 contact gates, and a total of 109 gates. It is home to around 260 companies, together directly employing 20,000 people. In 2005, the airport was awarded Best Airport in Europe by Airports Council International/ International Air Transport Association (ACI/IATA), based on a survey conducted with over 100,000 passengers worldwide. The company operating the airport is known as "The Brussels Airport Company N.V./S.A."; before 19 October 2006, the name was BIAC (Brussels International Airport Company), which was created by Belgian law through a merger of BATC with the ground operations departments of the RLW/RVA. It is currently owned by the Australian group MAp Airports (75%) and the Belgian State (25%).

The origins of Brussels Airport at Zaventem date back to 1940, when the German occupying force laid claim to 600 ha (1,500 acres) of agricultural fields to the east of Brussels, near the Belgian military back-up airfield "Steenokkerzeel". The Germans constructed 3 runways in the shape of a triangle: runway 02/20 and 07L/25R which are still in use today, and runway 12/30. The airfield buildings however were constructed within the territory of the nearby municipality of Melsbroek and not of Zaventem, which is why the airfield was known to the locals as the airfield of Melsbroek, or "Fliegerhorst Melsbroek" to the Germans. There is an urban legend that the site of the airport was chosen by the Germans after asking locals where to build it - the Belgians then pointed to this location as it was often foggy. After the liberation (3 September 1944), the German infrastructure at Melsbroek fell into the hands of the British. When the old civilian airport in Haren became too small, the Belgian authorities decided to use the aerodrome at Melsbroek for the new national airport. By 1948, a new terminal building was constructed to replace the old wooden building. In the same year, the length of both runways 02/20 and 07L/25R were increased to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) and 2,450 m (8,040 ft) respectively, whereas 12/30 remained at 1,300 m (4,300 ft). The civil aerodrome of Melsbroek was officially opened by Prince Charles, Count of Flanders, the Prince Regent on 20 July 1948. From 1948 to 1956 many more buildings and facilities were erected, but almost always on the Melsbroek side of the site. In 1955, a train line connecting the city centre of Brussels with the airport was constructed. The line was officially opened by King Baudouin on 15 May 1955. A direct train link with Leuven and Liège was opened on 12 December 2005. In 1956 a new 2,300 m (7,500 ft) runway was constructed, the 07R/25L which runs parallel with 07L/25R. The runway is still in use today and saw its length later increased to 3,200 m (10,500 ft). In April 1956 the Belgian government decided to build a new airport, using the same runways, but with the buildings located within the territory of the municipality of Zaventem. In April 1957, construction started of the new terminal, preparing the airport for the 1958 World Fair. The grass runway 12/30 had to make way to allow for the new passenger terminal. This new airport was inaugurated 5 July 1958, almost just in time for the 1958 World Fair. So historically, the birth date of Zaventem Airport is 5 July 1958. Incidentally, the buildings on the Melsbroek side are still in use by the Belgian Air Force ( 15th Air Transport Wing), and is still known as Melsbroek airfield. Both Zaventem Airport and Melsbroek Air Base, the military airfield, share the same runways. During the boom of commercial aviation in the 1960s and 1970s, several hangars were constructed. A new cargo terminal was constructed in 1976. In 1994, a brand new terminal was constructed adjacent to the old 1958 building. Two old piers were torn down and replaced by modern ones. In 2002, amidst the turmoil engulfing the demise of the national airline Sabena, a new pier was opened. This Pier A is destined to support flights from and to the Schengen treaty countries and supports since the 15 th of October 2008 all flights to African destinions (at the T-gates). In 2007, the airport served 17.8 million passengers, an increase of 7% over 2006. The cargo volume in the same year amounted to 780,000 tonnes, an increase of 8.9% over 2006. In 2008, the airport served 18,5 million passengers, which was an increase of 3,7% over the previous year. Sabena's demise meant a sharp fall in passenger traffic, a blow the airport only slowly recovered from. The airport's future is threatened by disagreement between the governments of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region concerning nocturnal air traffic routes. The construction of a new low-cost airlines pier is currently on hold. It will be built roughly where the old south pier used to be. At present, several low-cost airlines including Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to "Brussels South Airport", actually located in Charleroi, 40 km (25 mi) away from Brussels. In March 2009, the old mechanical Flight information display system were replaced by electronic ones. In September 2009, CEO Wilfried Van Assche resigned. One of the (unofficial) reasons is the delay of the construction of the low-cost terminal and the possible lawsuit by 52 airlines active at Brussels Airport, because of the tax-discrimination. In February 2010 Arnaud Feist was appointed CEO. The company president is Luc Van den Bossche (former Belgian government minister).

Airlines and destinations




Other facilities
Brussels Airlines has its corporate head office in the, Airport Building 26, located in Diegem, Machelen. Brussels Airlines formed in 2006 as a result of a merger between SN Brussels and Virgin Express. European Air Transport has its head office in Building 4-5, in Zaventem. Before Sabena went out of business, its head office was in the Sabena House on the grounds of Brussels Airport. When it existed, Virgin Express had its head office in Building 116 in Zaventem. SN Brussels, which formed in 2002, had its head office in Airport Building 117 in Zaventem when it existed. Prior to its disestablishment, Sobelair had its head office in Building 45 in Zaventem.


Car and taxi
Brussels Airport can be reached by car via the A201, which is directly connected to the R0 highway. From there, the main highways of Belgium can directly be accessed.

Brussels Airport has a special separated road that provides access to the airport for bikers and pedestrians. There is also a special place to park bikes.

The Brussels National Airport railway station is located under the airport building at level -1. The train station has direct services to Brussels, De Panne, Ghent, Hasselt, Landen, Leuven, Nivelles and Quévy. The most used link to Brussels has at least 3 trains per hour. A direct train link with Leuven was opened on 12 December 2005. A direct link with Antwerp and Mechelen via the so-called Diabolo line is scheduled to be completed in 2012. The Diabolo project is a public private partnership. It has been decided that all rail passengers to the Brussels National Airport railway station station pay a "Diabolo supplement" to finance the ongoing and planned work.

De Lijn provides transportation to and from various cities in Flanders. The MIVB/STIB provides transportation into Brussels city centre at Brussels Luxembourg Station via line 12 (weekdays before 8PM) or line 21 (weekends and evenings after 8PM).

Incidents and accidents
  • A serious accident in the vicinity of the airport was the crash of Sabena Flight 548, a Boeing 707 on 15 February 1961. The plane crashed during approach on runway 20, killing all 72 people on board and one on the ground.
  • Four aircraft were destroyed on 5 May 2006 when Sabena Technics' hangar 40 burned down. The stricken aircraft were one Lockheed C-130 Hercules (Belgian Air Component) and three Airbus A320 ( Armavia, Armenian International Airways and Hellas Jet).
  • On 25 May 2008, a Boeing 747-200F operated by Kalitta Air, overran the shorter runway 20, crashed into a field and split in three. The five people on board were taken to hospital with four receiving minor injuries.

Airlines Destinations Pier Adria Airways Ljubljana Seasonal: Pristina A Aegean Airlines Athens A Aer Lingus Dublin B Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo B Air Algérie Algiers Seasonal: Oran B Air Arabia Maroc Casablanca, Fes, Nador, Oujda B Air Canada Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson B Air France operated by Régional Lyon A Air Lipsia operated by Central Connect Airlines Leipzig/Halle A Air Malta Malta A Air Transat Seasonal: Montreal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson B Air Vallée Angers A AirBaltic Riga A Alitalia Milan-Linate, Rome-Fiumicino A American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, New York-JFK B Austrian Airlines Vienna A Austrian Airlines operated by Tyrolean Airways Vienna A Belle Air Tirana B Blue Air Bacău , Bucharest-Băneasa, ConstanÅ£a B Blue1 Helsinki A BMI operated by BMI Regional East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford B British Airways London-Heathrow B British Airways operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia Billund A Brussels Airlines Athens, Barcelona, Berlin-Tegel, Bilbao, Bologna, Budapest, Catania, Copenhagen, Faro, Florence, Geneva, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Hamburg, Hanover, Kraków, Lamezia Terme , Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Málaga, Marseille, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Nice, Oslo-Gardermoen, Palermo, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Porto, Prague, Rome-Fiumicino, Seville, Stockholm-Bromma, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Turin, Venice, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw Seasonal: Palma de Mallorca A Brussels Airlines Abidjan, Accra, Agadir , Banjul, Birmingham, Bujumbura, Conakry, Cotonou, Douala, Dakar, Entebbe, Freetown-Lungi, London-Heathrow, Kigali, Kinshasa-N'djili, Lomé, Luanda, Manchester, Marrakech , Monrovia, Moscow-Domodedovo, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta, Ouagadougou, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Yaoundé B Brussels Airlines operated by BMI Regional Birmingham , Bristol, Newcastle upon Tyne B Brussels Airlines operated by Tyrolean Airways Hannover A Bulgaria Air Sofia B Continental Airlines Newark B Croatia Airlines Zagreb B Cyprus Airways Larnaca B Czech Airlines Prague A Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York-JFK B EasyJet Berlin-Schönefeld, Liverpool, Lyon, Milan-Malpensa, Nice A EasyJet Switzerland Geneva A EgyptAir Cairo B El Al Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion B Estonian Air Tallinn A Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Milan-Malpensa B Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi B Finnair Helsinki A Flybe Manchester, Southampton B Hainan Airlines Beijing-Capital, Shanghai-Pudong B Iberia Madrid A Iberia operated by Air Nostrum San Sebastián, Vigo A Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjaví­k-Keflaví­k B Jat Airways Amsterdam, Belgrade B Jet Airways Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, New York-JFK, Newark, Toronto-Pearson B Jet4you operated by Jetairfly Tangier B Jetairfly Ajaccio, Alicante, Almerí­a, Araxos, Arrecife, Athens, Bastia, Burgas, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Heraklion, Ibiza, Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Jerez de la Frontera, Kos, Lamezia Terme, La Romana, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lesbos, Lourdes, Málaga, Minorca, Mykonos, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Porto Santo , Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki, Toulon, Zakynthos, Zaragoza A Jetairfly Agadir, Aqaba, Boa Vista, Cairo, Brindisi, Cancún, Colombo, Dubrovnik, Djerba, Enfidha, Hurghada, Liberia, Luxor, Malé, Marrakech, Mombasa, Montego Bay, Pristina , Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Sal, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tabarka, Tangier, Tirana , Tunis, Varadero, Varna, Zanzibar B KLM operated by KLM Cityhopper Amsterdam A LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw A Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich A Lufthansa Regional operated by Lufthansa CityLine Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart A Malév Hungarian Airlines Budapest A Middle East Airlines Beirut B Montenegro Airlines Podgorica B Ostfriesische Lufttransport Bremen A Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen Seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum B Qatar Airways Doha B Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Marrakech, Nador, Oujda, Tangier Seasonal: Al Hoceima B Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia B Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm-Arlanda A Skyways Express Jönköping A Swiss International Air Lines Zürich A Swiss operated by Swiss European Air Lines Basel/Mulhouse, Zürich A Syrian Air Aleppo, Beirut, Damascus B TAP Portugal Lisbon A TAP operated by Portugália Porto A TAROM Bucharest-Henri Coandă B Tunisair Djerba, Monastir, Tunis B Turkish Airlines Eskişehir, Istanbul-Atatürk B Turkish operated by Anadolujet Ankara B Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil B United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Newark , Washington-Dulles B US Airways Philadelphia B Vueling Barcelona, Valencia Seasonal: Seville A XL Airways France Seasonal: Phuket B Airlines Destinations Pier Bulgarian Air Charter Seasonal: Burgas, Varna B Corendon Airlines Seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum, Heraklion, Monastir B Freebird Airlines Seasonal: Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, Ä°zmir B Lydd Air Seasonal: Lydd B Nouvelair Seasonal: Djerba, Monastir B Onur Air Seasonal: Antalya B Sky Airlines Seasonal: Antalya B Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Alicante, Almerí­a, Athens, Barcelona, Burgas, Cagliari, Catania, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Enfidha, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gerona, Heraklion, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Kos, La Palma, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lesbos, Lisbon, Málaga, Malta, Minorca, Mykonos, Naples, Olbia, Palma de Mallorca, Palermo, Rhodes, Rimini, Reus, Santorini, Tenerife-South, Venice, Zakynthos Seasonal: Tivat A Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Agadir, Antalya, Bodrum, Burgas, Cairo, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Hurgada, Ä°zmir, Larnaca, Luxor, Marrakech, Marsa Alam, Monastir, Oujda, Paphos, Sharm el-Sheikh, Split, Taba, Tunis, Varna B TNT Airways Seasonal: Chania, Heraklion, Rhodes A TNT Airways Seasonal: Agadir, Antalya, Bodrum, Marrakech B Airlines Destinations Aerologic Bahrain, Hong Kong Air Algérie Algiers, Casablanca Aryan Cargo Express Mumbai Asiana Cargo Anchorage, Halifax, London-Stansted, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon Atlas Air Cathay Pacific Cargo Dubai, Hong Kong, Stockholm-Arlanda Demavia Airlines Kinshasa DHL International EgyptAir Cargo Cairo European Air Transport Budapest, London-Heathrow EVA Air Cargo Delhi, Hanoi, London-Heathrow, Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan, Vienna FedEx Feeder operated by Air Contractors Dublin, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Global Aviation & Services Group Tripoli-Mitiga Kalitta Air Bahrain, New York-JFK Korean Air Cargo Seoul-Incheon, Vienna Royal Air Maroc Casablanca Royal Jordanian Cargo Algiers, Amman-Queen Alia, Cairo Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo Dammam, Houston-Intercontinental, Jeddah, New York-JFK, Riyadh Singapore Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bangalore, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Dhaka, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dubai, Kolkata, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Sharjah, Singapore TNT Airways Helsinki

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