Brussels South Charleroi Airport

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Brussels South Charleroi Airport
Aéroport de Charleroi Bruxelles Sud
Brussels South Charleroi Airport..JPG
IATA: CRLICAO: EBCI
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Government of Walloon Region
Operator SOWAER (Société Wallonne des Aéroports)
Serves Charleroi, Belgium
Elevation AMSL 614 ft / 187 m
Coordinates 50°27′36″N 4°27′10″E / 50.46000°N 4.45278°E / 50.46000; 4.45278Coordinates: 50°27′36″N 4°27′10″E / 50.46000°N 4.45278°E / 50.46000; 4.45278
Website charleroi-airport.com
Map
CRL is located in Belgium
CRL
CRL
Brussels South Charleroi Airport in Belgium
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 2,550 8,366 Asphalt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 6,516,427
Change 11–12 Increase10.43%
Source: Belgian AIP at EUROCONTROL

Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA), also called Charleroi Airport or Gosselies Airport, (IATA: CRLICAO: EBCI) is an international airport located in Gosselies, a part of the city of Charleroi, 46 kilometres (29 mi) south of central Brussels, in Wallonia (Belgium). The Aéropole, one of the Science Parks of Wallonia, is located near the airport.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The first aeronautical activities in Gosselies date back to 1919 as a flying school, then aeronautical maintenance activities the following year. The British aircraft manufacturer Fairey Aviation settled a subsidiary Avions Fairey on the site (then known as Mont des Bergers) in 1931.

During World War II, the site was arranged as an Advanced Landing Ground (A-87) for the allied air forces, from 14 September 1944 until 10 August 1945.

Gosselies airfield became a public aerodrome after World War II, but the main activities of the site remained aeronautical constructions (installation of SABCA in 1954, then SONACA in 1978, taking the place of Fairey).

In the 1970s, the Belgian national airline Sabena launched a Liège-Charleroi-London service, but this was soon dropped because of poor results. Gosselies was left with almost no passenger traffic, the airport being mainly used for private or pleasure flights, training flights and occasional charters to leisure destinations around the Mediterranean Sea or to Algeria.

Development since the 1990s[edit]

Operations at Brussels-South Charleroi grew in the 1990s, with a new commercial management structure (BSCA – Brussels South Charleroi Airport) and the arrival of Irish low cost airline Ryanair in 1997, which opened its first continental base at Charleroi a few years later.

Although criticised for the subsidies paid by the Walloon government to help its installation, Ryanair opened new routes from Brussels-South Charleroi (they also closed two destinations: London-Stansted and Liverpool, although Stansted was re-introduced in June 2007 before being suspended again). Other low-cost carriers later joined Ryanair in Brussels-South Charleroi, such as Wizz Air. The Polish airline Air Polonia operated services from here to Warsaw and Katowice before going bankrupt in August 2004.

In September 2006 it was announced that Moroccan low-cost airline Jet4you would launch three weekly flights to Casablanca (on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) starting 1 November 2006, in code-share cooperation with Belgian airline Jetairfly.

A new terminal opened in January 2008. It has a capacity of up to 5 million passengers a year, which means that it has reached it maximum capacity in 2010 (5 195 372 passengers).

The European Commission objected to assistance the airport offered to Ryanair, since the airport is owned by the Wallonia regional government and thus the discounts and other benefits could be considered state aid.[1] However, the Court of First Instance (a European Union court) decided on 17 December 2008 that the Commission's decision finding that illegal aid had been granted to Ryanair should be annulled and quashed as being erroneous in law. However, in March 2012, the Commission reopened the case in order to take this judgement into account.[2]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Jetairfly Algiers, Alicante, Béjaïa, Djerba, Casablanca, Constantine (begins April 6),[3] Fes, Gran Canaria, Istanbul-Atatürk, Málaga , Murcia, Nador, Nice, Oran, Oujda, Palma de Mallorca, Prague, Rhodes, Tangier, Tenerife-South, Tlemcen (begins April 6),[4] Toulon
Seasonal: Al Hoceima, Enfidha
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen
Ryanair Agadir, Alicante, Ancona, Athens, Bari, Bergamo, Bologna, Bordeaux, Bratislava, Brindisi, Bucharest, Budapest, Cagliari, Carcassonne, Comiso, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Fes, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Kraków, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille, Montpellier, Moss, Nador, Nîmes, Oujda, Palma de Mallorca, Perpignan, Pescara, Pisa, Paphos, Porto, Prague, Rabat, Reus, Riga, Rome-Ciampino, Santander, Seville, Tangier, Tenerife-South, Thessaloniki, Trapani, Treviso, Turin, Valencia, Vilnius, Warsaw-Modlin, Zaragoza,
Seasonal: Alghero, Almería, Barcelona, Bergerac, Biarritz, Chania, Clermont-Ferrand, Corfu, Figari, Genoa, Girona, Ibiza, Kos, La Rochelle, Perugia, Podgorica, Pula, Rhodes, Rijeka, Rodez, Stockholm-Skavsta, Trieste, Volos, Zadar, Zakynthos
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Seasonal: Antalya
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Ljubljana, Skopje, Sofia, Timişoara , Warsaw-Chopin

Statistics[edit]

Inside the terminal
Apron traffic at Brussels-South Charleroi
Passengers per year
Year Passengers Evolution
2001 773 431
2002 1 271 979 Increase64.45%
2003 1 803 587 Increase41.19%
2004 2 034 797 Increase12.81%
2005 1 873 349 Decrease8.61%
2006 2 166 360 Increase15.64%
2007 2 458 255 Increase13.47%
2008 2 957 026 Increase20.28%
2009 3 937 187 Increase33.14%
2010 5 195 372 Increase31.96%
2011 5 901 007 Increase15.18%
2012 6 516 427 Increase10.43%
2013 6 786 979 Increase4.15%[5]

Ground transportation[edit]

Bus[edit]

Local TEC buses run between the airport and Charleroi railway station.[6] There are also several shuttles between different cities in the neighbourhood countries (Luxembourg, Metz, Thionville, Lille) plus a regular coach service that runs from the airport to Brussels-South railway station.

Train[edit]

A special bus (Airport Express – A) operates to Charleroi-South railway station. A combined bus and train ticket to any Belgian railway station can be bought in the terminal.

Car[edit]

The airport is accessible by the highway from Brussels, Liège or Lille.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 8 April 2011, a Dutch F-16 had to make an emergency landing because of a technical failure of one of its sets of landing gear. The plane landed on its belly. The pilot did not suffer any injuries.[7]
  • On 9 February 2013, a small Cessna plane crashed near the runway after suffering technical problems during take-off, killing all 5 people on board. The airport was closed for about six hours before resuming services.[8][9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]