Brussels South Charleroi Airport

Coordinates: 50°27′36″N 004°27′10″E / 50.46000°N 4.45278°E / 50.46000; 4.45278
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Brussels South Charleroi Airport

Aéroport de Charleroi Bruxelles-Sud
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of Wallonia
OperatorSociété Wallonne des Aéroports
ServesCharleroi and Brussels, Belgium
LocationCharleroi, Hainaut, Belgium
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL614 ft / 187 m
Coordinates50°27′36″N 004°27′10″E / 50.46000°N 4.45278°E / 50.46000; 4.45278
CRL is located in Belgium
Brussels South Charleroi Airport in Belgium
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 3,200 10,499 Asphalt
Statistics (2019)
Change 18-19Increase10%

Brussels South Charleroi Airport[a] (BSCA), also informally called Brussels-Charleroi Airport[b] or Charleroi Airport[c] (IATA: CRL, ICAO: EBCI), is an international airport located in Gosselies, a part of the city of Charleroi, Belgium. The airport is 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) north[1] of Charleroi and 46 km (28+12 mi) south of central Brussels.

The airport is the second busiest in Belgium in terms of passengers and aircraft movements, having served 8,224,196 passengers in 2019 (82,043 movements). It is also a busy general aviation airfield, being home to three flight schools. The Aéropole, one of the Science Parks of Wallonia, is also located near the airport.


Biplane on the Gosselies airfield in 1920.

Early years[edit]

The first aeronautical activities in Gosselies date back to 1919: a flight school was opened on Mont des Bergers—the highest point in the region—then, the following year, the Société Générale d'Aéronautique (SEGA) began aeronautical maintenance activities.[2] The British aircraft manufacturer Fairey Aviation settled a subsidiary Avions Fairey on the site in 1931, making Gosselies a centre of the Belgian aeronautical industry.[2]

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. After the war, the Gosselies airfield became a public aerodrome operated by the Régie des Voies Aériennes (RVA), but the main activities of the site remained aeronautical constructions (installation of the Société Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques (SABCA) in 1954, then the Société Nationale de Construction Aéronautique (SONACA) in 1978, taking over the activities of Fairey).[2]

In the 1970s, the Belgian national airline Sabena launched a LiègeCharleroi–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]

On 9 July 1991, the limited company Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA) was created. This operation was part of the effective transfer from the State to the Regions of the powers to manage and operate regional airports, which took place on 1 January 1992. During 1992 and 1993, a series of management procedures were put in place, which began to take effect in 1995 and even more so in 1996.[2]

Operations at Brussels South Charleroi grew in the 1990s, with this new commercial management structure and the arrival of Irish low-cost airline Ryanair in 1997, which opened its first continental base at Charleroi a few years later.[3] 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).[3] 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.[4] 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 its maximum capacity in 2010 (5,195,372 passengers).[5]

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.[6] 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 judgment into account.[7]

In January 2017, a second terminal (Terminal 2) was opened in order to relieve the T1 during rush hours and to be able to accommodate 10 million passengers a year in the future.[8] In May 2019, work began on an extension of Charleroi Airport's runway, bringing it to a total length of 3,200 metres. Runway 06/24 is undergoing a 650-meter extension on the 24 end of the runway.[9] On 8 October 2021, the runway extension was inaugurated in the presence of the Walloon Minister in charge of Airports Jean-Luc Crucke [nl][10]

The SABCA facility on site conducts depot-level maintenance, repair and overhaul work on United States Air Force F-16s based in Europe.[11]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Brussels South Charleroi Airport:[12]

Air Arabia Seasonal: Oujda (begin 21 June 2024)[13]
Air Corsica Seasonal: Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi, Figari
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Ryanair Agadir, Alghero, Alicante, Ancona, Asturias,[14] Athens, Barcelona, Bari, Bergamo, Béziers, Biarritz, Billund, Bologna, Bordeaux (ends 26 October 2024),[15] Bratislava, Brindisi, Bucharest–Otopeni, Budapest, Cagliari, Carcassonne, Cluj-Napoca, Dublin, Dubrovnik,[16] Edinburgh, Essaouira,[17] Faro, Fès, Fuerteventura, Funchal,[18] Genoa, Girona, Gothenburg,[19] Gran Canaria, Helsinki, Iași, Kraków, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Łódź,[20] Lourdes,[17] Madrid, Málaga, Malta, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille, Milan–Malpensa,[19] Nador, Nantes,[21] Naples, Nîmes, Oujda, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Perpignan, Pescara, Pisa, Porto, Poznań, Prague, Rabat, Riga, Rome–Ciampino,[17] Santander, Sarajevo,[22] Seville, Sofia, Stockholm–Arlanda,[17] Tangier, Tel Aviv, Tenerife–South, Tétouan, Thessaloniki, Tirana,[23] Toulouse, Treviso, Trieste,[17] Turin, Valencia, Verona, Vienna, Vitoria,[24] Warsaw–Chopin,[25] Warsaw–Modlin, Wrocław, Zagreb, Zaragoza
Seasonal: Almería, Amman–Queen Alia,[19] Aqaba (resumes 1 November 2024),[26] Banja Luka,[27] Bergerac, Castellón, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Cork,[28] ,Figari, Glasgow, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kaunas,[27][17] Lamezia Terme,[27] La Rochelle, Menorca,[17] Olbia,[29] Perugia, Podgorica,[30][27] Ponta Delgada (begins 3 June 2024),[31] Pula, Reus, Rhodes, Rijeka, Rodez, Rovaniemi,[32] Santiago de Compostela,[27] Trapani,[17] Zadar
Volotea Seasonal: Nice[33]
Wizz Air[34] Bucharest–Otopeni, Budapest, Catania,[35] Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iași, Kutaisi,[36] Skopje, Sofia, Timișoara, Tirana, Varna, Warsaw–Chopin


Terminal interior
Aerial view
Annual passenger traffic at Brussels South Charleroi Airport. See Wikidata query.
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%
2014 6,439,957 Decrease5.1%
2015 6,956,302 Increase8.01%
2016 7,303,720 Increase4.99%
2017 7,698,767 Increase5.41%
2018 7,454,671 Decrease3.27%
2019 8,224,196 Increase10.32%[37]
Busiest Routes from Charleroi Airport (2016)
Rank Airport Passengers 2016
1  Hungary, Budapest Airport 313,983
2  Italy, Bergamo Airport 279,694
3  Romania, Bucharest Airport 260,009
4  Spain, Madrid Airport 251,526
5  Denmark, Copenhagen Airport 200,486

Ground transportation[edit]


There are several shuttles to different cities in the neighbouring countries (Luxembourg, Metz, Thionville, Lille) plus a regular coach service that runs from the airport to Brussels-Central railway station. Also, a special bus (Airport Express – A) operates from the airport to Charleroi-Central railway station. A combined bus and train ticket to any other Belgian railway station can be bought in the terminal.


The airport is accessible by the A54/E420 highway

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 4 April 1978, a Boeing 737 OO-SDH operated on a training flight with an instructor and two co-pilot students. Both students were going to practice ILS approaches to runway 25 at Charleroi-Gosselies Airport (CRL) followed by a touch-and-go. The initial six approaches were uneventful. The students then changed seats. The second student's first approach and touch-and-go were uneventful. During the second touch-and-go a flock of birds (ring doves) were observed crossing the runway. Several birds were ingested as the airplane was rotating. The instructor took over control and attempted to continue takeoff. The airplane failed to respond to his control inputs and seemed to decelerate. He then decided to abort the takeoff. There was insufficient runway length available so the Boeing overran, struck localiser antennas and skidded. The right main gear collapsed and the no. 2 engine was torn off in the slide. The aircraft came to rest 300 m past the runway end and was destroyed by fire.[38]
  • On 8 April 2011, a Dutch F-16 had to make an emergency landing because of a failure of one of its sets of landing gear. The plane landed on its belly. The pilot did not suffer any injuries.[39]
  • 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.[40][41]

See also[edit]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency

  1. ^ EBCI – CHARLEROI / Brussels South (also PDF). Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) from AIM Belgium via skeyes.
  2. ^ a b c d "About us". Brussels South Charleroi Airport. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Ryanair ready to take advantage of Charleroi's new terminal -". 30 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Air Arabia Maroc launches with six destinations from Casablanca starting with Stansted -". 8 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Welcome | Brussels South Charleroi Airport". Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  6. ^ "BBC NEWS - Business - Ryanair slates Charleroi ruling".
  7. ^ "European Commission - Press release - State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigations in air transport sector in Belgium, France and Germany".
  8. ^ Orban, André (27 January 2017). "Charleroi Airport Terminal 2 opens for business: first commercial flights will leave on Monday, 30 January 2017". Archived from the original on 26 October 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Work begins to extend the runway". Brussels South Charleroi Airport. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  10. ^ Orban, André (8 October 2021). "The runway extension of Brussels South Charleroi Airport is inaugurated, paving the way for long-haul flights". Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  11. ^ Lake, Jon (April 2021). "Have Glass: Making the F-16 less observable". Key.Aero. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
  12. ^ - Timetable Archived 15 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine retrieved May 2016.
  13. ^ "Air Arabia Maroc va opérer une liaison estivale entre Oujda et Charleroi | Air Journal". 15 April 2024.
  14. ^ "Asturias tendrá dos rutas internacionales más de las previstas (Y los billetes baratos ya están a la venta)". 22 June 2022.
  15. ^ "Ryanair announces it is leaving Bordeaux airport".
  16. ^ "Ryanair to open seasonal Dubrovnik base". 29 November 2023.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ryanair".
  18. ^ "Ryanair vai da Madeira para 10 cidades da Europa a 29,99 euros". 23 November 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "Ryanair".
  20. ^ "".
  21. ^ "Ryanair NS23 Network Additions Summary – 05FEB23". Retrieved 6 March 2023.
  22. ^ "Ryanair unveils Sarajevo routes". 28 November 2023.
  23. ^ "Ryanair sbarca in Albania. Attacco frontale a Wizz Air". 8 June 2023.
  24. ^ "Vuelos Vitoria Bruselas - Aeropuerto de Vitoria Foronda ✈️". 28 March 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  25. ^ "Ryanair potwierdza: Wracamy na Lotnisko Chopina. Na początek pięć kierunków".
  26. ^
  27. ^ a b c d e "Ryanair NW23 Network Changes – 17SEP23".
  28. ^ "Goedkoop Vliegen Club - Nieuws".
  29. ^ "Ryanair per la prima volta a Olbia, 10 collegamenti estivi - Notizie -". 31 January 2024.
  30. ^ [1] EX-YU Aviation News: Ryanair further cuts Podgorica network. 17 September 2023. Retrieved 17 September 2023.
  31. ^ "Flugplan".
  32. ^ "Ryanair announces flights from Brussels Charleroi, Dublin & London Stansted to Lapland for Winter '22". 31 March 2022. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  33. ^ "Volotea launches two new routes from Nice: Brussels South Charleroi and Olbia". 18 January 2023.
  34. ^ "Operating Routes". Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  35. ^ "Wizz Air porta a 4 gli aerei a Catania e diventa la prima compagnia aerea. Apre 5 rotte e sbarca a Comiso". 12 May 2023.
  36. ^ "2023 წლის ივნისიდან Wizz Air ქუთაისის აეროპორტიდან 5 ახალი მიმართულებით იფრენს". 13 December 2022.
  37. ^ "Statistics".
  38. ^ "Crash-aerien 04 APR 1978 d'un Boeing 737-229C OO-SDH - Charleroi-Gosselies Airport (CRL)".
  39. ^ "Accident d'un F16 à Charleroi: réouverture de l'aéroport".
  40. ^ "Belgian airport reopens after plane crash kills family". Reuters. 9 February 2013. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  41. ^ "Belgium plane crash closes Charleroi airport". BBC News. 9 February 2013.


  1. ^ French: Aéroport de Charleroi Bruxelles-Sud, Dutch: Luchthaven Charleroi Brussel-Zuid, German: Flughafen Charleroi Brüssel-Süd
  2. ^ French: Aéroport de Bruxelles-Charleroi, Dutch: Luchthaven Brussel-Charleroi, German: Flughafen Brüssel-Charleroi
  3. ^ French: Aéroport de Charleroi, Dutch: Luchthaven Charleroi, German: Flughafen Charleroi

External links[edit]

Media related to Brussels South Charleroi Airport at Wikimedia Commons