Aéroport de Bruxelles-National
|IATA: BRU – ICAO: EBBR|
|Airport type||Public & Military|
|Operator||The Brussels Airport Company|
|Elevation AMSL||184 ft / 56 m|
|Sources: Brussels Airport, AIP|
Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU, ICAO: EBBR) (also called Brussel Nationaal/Bruxelles-National/Brussel-Zaventem (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, both located in the Flemish Region of Belgium.
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. Brussels Airport continues to appear in top airports lists as of 2012.
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. Since 2011, the airport is owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (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 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 Charleroi Airport, 40 km (25 mi) away from Brussels.
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).
On 18 February 2013, in the 2013 Belgium diamond heist, eight men armed with automatic weapons and dressed in police uniforms seized 120 small parcels containing an estimated $50 million worth of diamonds off of a Helvetic Airways Fokker 100 passenger plane loaded with passengers preparing for departure to Zurich, Switzerland. The men drove two vehicles through a hole they had cut in the airport's perimeter fence to Flight LX789, which had just been loaded with diamonds from a Brink's armored van from Antwerp, Belgium. The men were able to execute the operation within five minutes with no injuries and without firing a shot.
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.
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 8 pm) or line 21 (weekends and evenings after 8 pm).
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. There is also now a direct train to Paris once a day with Thalys. There is a special agreement with Brussels Airlines and Jet Airways for use of this service.
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 was opened for public service on 10 June 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.
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.
Airlines and destinations 
|Aerologic||Bahrain, Hong Kong, Leipzig/Halle|
|Air Algérie||Algiers, Casablanca|
|Asiana Cargo||Anchorage, Halifax, London-Stansted, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon|
|Cargojet Airways||Cologne, Halifax, Hamilton|
operated by DHL Air UK
operated by EAT Leipzig
|Budapest, Nottingham/East Midlands, Leipzig/Halle, Lisbon, London-Heathrow, Milan-Bergamo, Vitoria|
operated by Swiftair
|EVA Air Cargo||Delhi, Frankfurt, Taipei-Taoyuan |
operated by Nordic Global Airlines
|Helsinki, New York-JFK, Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong|
|Korean Air Cargo||Miami, Navoiy, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon, Vienna, Zaragoza|
|Royal Air Maroc||Casablanca|
|Saudia Cargo||Dammam, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Guangzhou, Houston-Intercontinental, Jeddah, New York-JFK, Riyadh, Vienna|
|Singapore Airlines Cargo||Amsterdam, Chicago-O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Sharjah, Singapore|
Traffic and statistics 
|Rank||City||Passengers 2011||Top Carriers|
|1||Madrid, Spain||580 280||Brussels Airlines, Iberia|
|2||London, UK||517 519||Brussels Airlines, British Airways|
|3||Rome, Italy||514 507||Brussels Airlines, Alitalia|
|4||Geneva, Switzerland||514 158||Brussels Airlines, Easyjet Switzerland|
|5||Barcelona||508 726||Brussels Airlines, Vueling, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium|
|6||Milan, Italy||469 198||Brussels Airlines, Alitalia|
|7||Frankfurt, Germany||462 180||Lufthansa|
|8||Copenhagen, Denmark||437 424||Brussels Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines|
|9||Antalya, Turkey||432 922||Freebird Airlines, Sky Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium|
|10||Berlin, Germany||415 083||Brussels Airlines, Easyjet|
|Rank||City||Passengers 2011||Top Carriers|
|1||New York City, USA||306 231||Delta Air Lines, Jet Airways, American Airlines|
|2||Newark, USA||275 427||United Airlines, Jet Airways|
|3||Casablanca, Morocco||192 835||Air Arabia Maroc, Jetairfly, Royal Air Maroc|
|4||Chicago, USA||189 997||United Airlines, American Airlines|
|5||Tel-Aviv, Israel||169 098||Brussels Airlines, El Al|
|6||Washington, USA||152 754||United Airlines|
|7||Montréal, Canada||149 420||Air Canada, Air Transat|
|8||Abu Dhabi, UAE||148 916||Etihad Airways|
|9||Toronto, Canada||136 630||Jet Airways|
|10||Delhi, India||130 601||Jet Airways|
|11||Mumbai, India||130 071||Jet Airways|
Other facilities 
Brussels Airlines has its corporate head office in the b.house, 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.
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.
See also 
- "EBBR – Brussels / Brussels-National" (PDF). AIP Belgium and G.D. of Luxembourg (Available at Eurocontrol website, free registration required). Steenokkerzeel: Belgocontrol AIM. 26 July 2012. part AD 2.EBBR. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- "bedrijf.jpg."Machelen and partially in Steenokkerzeel. Retrieved on 25 April 2010.
- Expatica: Record numbers of passengers at Brussels Airport
- Shuttles Brussels – Charleroi Airport
- Higgins, Andrew (2013-02-18). "Brazen Jewel Robbery at Brussels Airport Nets $50 Million in Diamonds". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-20.
- Casert, Raf, , "Robbers Snatch $50 Million of Diamonds Off Plane in Belgium," Associated Press, February 19, 2013, 4:13 a.m.
- Smith, Vicky, "The Great Plane Robbery: Gang of Fake Police Officers Steal £32m of Diamonds in Airport Heist," Associated Press, February 19, 2013, 18:49
- L, J (13 May 2013). "FlyGeorgia Postpones Brussels Service Launch till June 2013". Routesonline / Routes. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Aircargoworld.com – Canada’s rocky cargo landscape
- EVA Air Cargo Schedule
- "Corp – Contact Us." Brussels Airlines. Retrieved on 23 October 2009.
- "Sabena reborn: SN Brussels-Virgin Express merger 'set to take former Belgian flag carrier brand'." Flight Global. 27 October 2006. Retrieved on 23 October 2009.
- "General Conditions of Carriage." DHL. Retrieved on 27 June 2010. "European Air Transport N.V./S.A., a company registered in Belgium with its business address at Building 4–5, Brussels Airport, 1930 Zaventem, Belgium;"
- Von Schreiber, Sylvia. "Organisierte Pleite." Der Spiegel. 26 November 2001. "Wenige Stunden vorher geschah noch weit Merkwürdigeres: Polizisten der Brüsseler "Aufspürungsbrigade 4" drangen in die Privatwohnungen von vier Managern und in das Firmengebäude Sabena House am Flughafen Zaventem ein."
- "World Airline Directory." Flight Global. 30 March – 5 April 2004. 92.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 30 March – 5 April 2004. 71.
- "Survey: World Airlines." Flight International. 1–7 April 2003. 74.
- "Contact Us." Sobelair. 5 December 2002. Retrieved on 27 May 2010.
- "Plane comes off Brussels runway". BBC News. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Brussels Airport|
- Brussels Airport homepage
- Current weather for EBBR at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for BRU at Aviation Safety Network