Brussels South Charleroi Airport

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Brussels South Charleroi Airport
Aéroport de Charleroi Bruxelles Sud
Aeroport de Charleroi Bruxelles Sud.jpg
Airport type Public
Owner Government of Wallonia
Operator Société Wallonne des Aéroports
Serves Charleroi, Belgium
Focus city for Ryanair
Elevation AMSL 614 ft / 187 m
Coordinates 50°27′36″N 004°27′10″E / 50.46000°N 4.45278°E / 50.46000; 4.45278Coordinates: 50°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
07/25 2,550 8,366 Asphalt
Statistics (2016)
Passengers 7 303 720
Change 15-16 Increase4.99%
Sources: Belgian AIP[1]

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 in Wallonia (southern Belgium. The airport is 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) north[1] of Charleroi and 46 km (29 mi) south of central Brussels. In terms of passengers and aircraft movements, it is the second busiest airport in Belgium having served 7,303,720 passengers in 2016 (75,038 movements). It is also a busy general aviation airfield, being home to 3 flying schools.

The Aéropole, one of the Science Parks of Wallonia, is located near the airport.


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 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]

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.[citation needed]

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).[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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).[citation needed]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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 10 000 000 passengers/year in the future.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Brussels South Charleroi Airport:[4]

Airlines Destinations
Air Corsica Seasonal: Ajaccio, Bastia
Belavia Minsk
Pegasus Airlines Ankara, Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Ryanair Agadir, Alicante, Ancona, Athens, Barcelona, Bari, Bergamo, Biarritz, Bologna, Bordeaux, Bratislava, Brindisi, Bucharest, Budapest, Cagliari, Carcassonne, Comiso, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Fes, Fuerteventura, Glasgow-International, Gran Canaria, Kraków, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, Lisbon (begins 29 October 2017) [5] Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille, Montpellier, Nador, Naples (begins 31 October 2017),[6] Nîmes, Oujda, Palma de Mallorca, Paphos, Perpignan, Pescara, Pisa, Plovdiv (begins 30 October 2017),[6] Porto, Prague, Podgorica, Rabat, Reus, Riga, Rome–Ciampino, Santander, Seville, Sofia, Stockholm–Skavsta, Tangier, Tenerife–South, Thessaloniki, Timișoara, Toulouse, Trapani, Treviso, Turin, Valencia, Varna (begins 29 October 2017),[6] Vilnius, Warsaw–Modlin, Wrocław (begins 31 October 2017),[6] Zaragoza
Seasonal: Alghero, Almería, Bergerac, Chania, Corfu, Eilat-Ovda (begins 29 October 2017), Figari, Girona, Ibiza, La Rochelle, Perugia, Pula, Rhodes, Rijeka, Rodez, Zadar, Zakynthos
TUI fly Belgium Algiers, Annaba, Alicante, Béjaïa, Casablanca, Constantine, Fes, Gran Canaria, Málaga, Murcia, Nador, Oran, Oujda, Palma de Mallorca, Sarajevo, Tangier, Tenerife–South, Tlemcen, Toulon
Seasonal: Al Hoceima, Essaouira,[7] Heraklion, Hurghada,[8] Naples, Nice, Rhodes, Sharm El Sheikh (begins 28 October 2017),[9] Trieste,[10] Tunis
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Cluj-Napoca, Gdańsk, Ljubljana, Skopje, Sofia, Timişoara, Warsaw–Chopin


Charleroi Airport Passenger Totals 2001–2016 (millions)
Updated: 1st May 2017.
Terminal interior
Aerial view
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%[11]
2014 6,439,957 Decrease5.1%
2015 6,956,000 Increase8.01%
2016 7 303 720 Increase4.99%

Ground transportation[edit]


Local TEC buses run between the airport and Charleroi railway station.[12]

There are also several shuttles between different cities in the neighbouring countries (Luxembourg, Metz, Thionville, Lille) plus a regular coach service that runs from the airport to Brussels-South railway station. Also, a special bus (Airport Express – A) operates from the airport to Charleroi-South 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 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.[13]
  • 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.[14][15]

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]

Media related to Brussels South Charleroi Airport at Wikimedia Commons