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Brussels Natl Airport

Brussels Airport
Luchthaven Brussel-Nationaal
Aéroport de Bruxelles-National
Airport type Public & Military
Operator The Brussels Airport Company
Serves Brussels
Location Zaventem
Diegem, Machelen
Hub for
  • Brussels Airlines
  • Eva Air Cargo
  • Jet Airways
  • Jetairfly
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo
  • Singapore Airlines Cargo
  • Thomas Cook Airlines
Elevation AMSL 184 ft / 56 m
Coordinates 50°54′05″N 004°29′04″E / 50.90139°N 4.48444°E / 50.90139; 4.48444Coordinates: 50°54′05″N 004°29′04″E / 50.90139°N 4.48444°E / 50.90139; 4.48444
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 2,987 9,800 Asphalt
07R/25L 3,211 10,535 Asphalt
07L/25R 3,638 11,936 Concrete
Statistics (2009)
Passengers 16,999,618
Freight (tonnes) 449,100
Aircraft movements 231,600
Sources:Belgian AIP at EUROCONTROL

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 and partially in the Diegem area of Machelen.

The airport is home to around 260 companies, together directly employing 6,000 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).


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.

The old terminal building seen in 2010.
The old terminal building seen in 2010.

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 of October 2008 all flights to African destinions (at the T-gates).

The airport is operated by The Brussels Airport Company, owned by the Australian group MAp Airports (75%) and the Belgian State (25%). The company president is Luc Van den Bossche (former Belgian government minister). CEO is Arnaud Feist.

Brussels airport currently consists of 54 contact gates, and a total of 109 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.

Brussels Airport is operated by The Brussels Airport Company, formerly known as 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.

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 lowcostterminal and the possible lawsuit by 52 airlines active at Brussels Airport, because of the tax-discrimination. In February 2010 Arnaud Feist was appointed CEO.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Pier
Adria Airways Ljubljana A
Aegean Airlines Athens A
Aer Lingus Dublin B
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo B
Afriqiyah Airways Tripoli B
Air Algérie Algiers
Seasonal : Oran
Air Arabia Maroc Casablanca [begins 2 November], Fez [begins 2 November], Oudja [begins 4 November] B
Air Canada Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto-Pearson B
Air France operated by Régional Lyon A
Air Malta Malta A
Air Transat Seasonal : Montréal-Trudeau B
AirBaltic Riga A
Alitalia Milan-Linate, Rome-Fiumicino
Seasonal : Alghero
American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, New York-JFK B
Belgian Airlines Vienna A
Belgian operated by Tyrolean Airways Vienna A
Blue Air Bucharest-Băneasa, Constanţa 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, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Geneva, Hamburg, Kraków, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Málaga, Marseille, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Nice, Oslo-Gardermoen, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Porto, Prague, Rome-Fiumicino, Seville, Stockholm-Bromma, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Turin, Venice-Marco Polo, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw A
Brussels Airlines Abidjan, Accra, Banjul, Birmingham, Bujumbura, Conakry, Cotonou, Douala, Dakar, Entebbe, Freetown, London-Heathrow, Kigali, Kinshasa, Lomé, Luanda, Manchester, Monrovia, Moscow-Domodedovo, Nairobi, Ouagadougou, Tel Aviv, Yaoundé B
Brussels Airlines operated by Augsburg Airways Hanover A
Brussels Airlines operated by BMI Regional Bristol, Newcastle upon Tyne B
Bulgaria Air Sofia B
Bulgarian Air Charter Seasonal : Burgas, Varna B
Continental Airlines Newark B
Croatia Airlines Zagreb
Seasonal : Split
Cyprus Airways Larnaca B
Czech Airlines Prague A
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, New York-JFK B
EasyJet Berlin-Schönefeld, Lyon, Milan-Malpensa, Nice A
EasyJet Switzerland Geneva A
EgyptAir Cairo B
El Al Tel Aviv B
Estonian Air Tallinn A
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa B
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi B
Finnair Helsinki A
Flybe Manchester, Southampton B
Freebird Airlines Seasonal : Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, İzmir B
Hainan Airlines Beijing-Capital, Shanghai-Pudong B
Iberia Madrid A
Iberia operated by Air Nostrum Asturias A
Icelandair Seasonal : Rekjavík-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, Athens, Bastia, Burgas, Brindisi, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Faro, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Heraklion, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Kos, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Lesbos, Lourdes, Málaga, Minorca, Mykonos, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki, Toulon, Zakynthos, Zaragoza A
Jetairfly Agadir, Aqaba, Boa Vista, Cairo, Cancún, Colombo [begins 30 October], Dubrovnik, Djerba, Enfidha, Hurghada, Liberia, Luxor, Malé [begins 30 October], Marrakech, Mombasa, Montego Bay, Nador, Oujda, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Sal, Sharm el-Sheikh, Tabarka, Tangier, 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 Augsburg Airways Munich A
Lufthansa Regional operated by Lufthansa CityLine Munich, Stuttgart A
Lydd Air Seasonal : Lydd B
Malév Hungarian Airlines Budapest A
Middle East Airlines Beirut B
Nouvelair Seasonal : Djerba, Monastir B
Olympic Air Athens A
Onur Air Seasonal : Antalya B
Ostfriesische Lufttransport Bremen, Leipzig/Halle A
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Seasonal : Antalya, Bodrum
Qatar Airways Doha [begins 31 January] B
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Marrakech, Nador, Oujda, Tangier
Seasonal : Al Hoceima
Royal Jordanian Amman-Queen Alia B
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda A
Sky Airlines Seasonal : Antalya B
Sky Work Airlines Angers [begins 14 February], Bern [begins 14 February] 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, Porto A
TAROM Bucharest-Henri Coandă 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-Marco Polo, Zakynthos A
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Agadir, Antalya, Bodrum, Burgas, Cairo, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Hurgada, İzmir, 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
Tunisair Djerba, Monastir, Tunis B
Turkish Airlines Eskişehir, Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen B
Turkish Airlines operated by AnadoluJet Ankara B
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil B
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Washington-Dulles B
US Airways Philadelphia B
Vueling Barcelona, Valencia, Vigo
Seasonal : Seville
Wind Jet Seasonal : Forlì A
XL Airways France Seasonal : Cancún, Phuket, Punta Cana, Varadero 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
EVA Air Cargo Delhi, Dubai, London-Heathrow, Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan, Vienna
European Air Transport London-Heathrow
FedEx Feeder operated by Air Contractors Dublin, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Global Aviation & Services Group Tripoli-Mitiga
Kalitta Air Bahrein, New York-JFK
Korean Air Cargo Seoul-Incheon, Vienna
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Royal Jordanian Cargo Algiers, Amman, Cairo
Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo Dammam, Houston-Intercontinental, Jeddah, New York-JFK, Riyadh
Singapore Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bangalore, Bogotá, Campinas, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Dhaka, Dallas/Fort Worth, Dubai, Kolkata, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Quito, Sharjah, Singapore
TNT Airways Helsinki


Other facilities (Building 26), Brussels Airlines head office on the grounds of Brussels Airport and in Diegem (Building 26), Brussels Airlines head office on the grounds of Brussels Airport and in Diegem

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

Departure drop-off
Departure drop-off

Departure drop-off being renovated
Departure drop-off being renovated

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

Boeing 747 overran the runway and split in three.
  • 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.
Runways; 07L/25R (3,638 m (11,936 ft)) 07R/25L (3,211 m (10,535 ft)) and 02/20 (2,984 m (9,790 ft)), prior to the construction of Pier A in 2002

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General Info
Country Belgium
Time UTC+1(+2DT)
Latitude 50.901389
50° 54' 05.00" N
Longitude 4.484444
004° 29' 04.00" E
Elevation 184 feet
56 meters
Type Joint (Civil and Military)
Magnetic Variation 000° W (05/06)
Alternate Name MELSBROEK
Operating Hours 24 HOUR OPERATIONS
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry
Daylight Saving Time Last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October

TWR 118.6
GND 121.875
DEP 126.625
CLNC DEL 121.95
ATIS ARR 132.475
APP 118.25
(118.25 S,W,N tfc, FL65 and abv)(120.1 E tfc)(122.5 389.375 362.3 cros Mil area)

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
02/20 9800 x 164 feet
2987 x 50 meters
07R/25L 10535 x 148 feet
3211 x 45 meters
07L/25R 11936 x 148 feet
3638 x 45 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME BUN BRUNO 043X 110.6 9.9 NM 227.1
NDB OZ BRUSSELS - 314 4.5 NM 008.5

Fuel Jet A1, without icing nhibitor.

100/130 octane gasoline, leaded, MIL-L-5572F (GREEN)
Oil O-133, 1010, jet Engine Oil (MIL l 6081)

O-147, MIL L 6085A Lubrication Oil, Instrument Synthetic

O-149, Aircraft Turbine Engine Synthetic 7.5c St

O-156, MIL L 23699 (Synthetic Base)Turboprop/Turboshaft Engine
Other Fluids WAI, Water-Alcohol Injection Type, Thrust Augmenation-Jet Aircraft

DE-ICE, Anti-icing/De-icing/Defrosting Fluid (MIL A 8243)

LHOX, Low and high pressure oxygen servicing

LOX, Liquid oxygen servicing

OX, Indicates oxygen servicing when type of servicing is unknown

CAUTION Extv arpt const UFN; cranes erected on lt side of Rwys 25R and 20. Ocnl false capture rpt, confirm validity of ILS capture.
FUEL Avbl 0730-1620Z++ Mon-Fri, aft 1620Z++ PPR; 0600-2100Z++ Sat, Sun and hol. A1 (Air BP C+32-2-751-780) 100LL
JASU 1(A1) 1(G-10)
OIL O-133-147-149-156
RSTD Proh 2200-0500Z++ to jets exceeding noise levels specified in ICAO Annex 16, Chapter 2, exc with prior perms fr arpt mgr. Mil acft ldg EBMB PPR 48 hr. Ldg/dep EBMB ctc Melsbroek OPS 15 min prior to ETA and 15 min aft ATD. Chgover fr Twy R3 to R4 only avbl for CAT C acft max wingspan of 118'.
RWY Rpt LDA - Rwys; 25L - 10535; 07L - 11089, 25R - 10951.

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