Belgium’s central location in Europe makes it the first stop in Europe for many airlines from other countries and continents. This means that you can fly directly to many European as well as overseas destinations. Here is a list of Belgium’s five largest airports that provide passenger services:
- Brussels Airport
- Liège Airport
- Brussels South Charleroi Airport
- Antwerp International Airport (Deurne)
- Ostend-Bruges International Airport
All other European countries are easily accessible from Brussels, the capital of Europe. Not only does it host transportation but also motor racing events like the Grand Prix.
The Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU, ICAO: EBBR) is 6.5 nautical miles (12.0 km) northeast of Brussels, the Belgian capital. It was the 24th busiest airport in Europe in 2019, with over 26 million passengers arriving or departing. Approximately 260 companies are based in the city, directly employing 20,000 people.
There are three runways at Brussels Airport: two parallel runways 07L/25R and 07R/25L, and one transverse runway 01/19. The three runways together form the shape of a Z.
Runways 07L/25R have a length of 3,638 meters, runways 07R/25L have a length of 3,211 meters, and runway 01/19 has a length of 2,987 meters.
Brussel Airport Terminal
All airport facilities are located under a single roof at Brussels Airport, which operates on a one terminal concept. There are several levels in the terminal building. A railway station can be found on level 1, buses and taxis are available at level 0, arrivals are located on level 2, and departures are located on level 3. There are two piers (A and B) at the airport, and levels 2 and 3 are connected to them.
In addition to Schengen flights, there are some non-Schengen flights to Africa and New York from this Concourse at Brussels Airport. The structure consists of the following levels.
- Ground level: Concessions for food, drink, and retail, as well as access to boarding gates A20-A39.
- First level: Concessions, boarding gates A40-A72, gates T61-T72, and food, drink, and retail concessions.
- Second level: Lounges and services are available at this level.
Passengers can catch a transfer bus from A Pier to Concourse B gates at the end of Concourse.
Non-Schengen flights are the only ones that use this airport. There is a direct link between the pier and the Main Departure Hall. The Departures and Arrivals sections of Concourse B are as follows:
- Ground level: Gates 80 to 98.
- From this level, transfer buses depart for Concourse A and T gates.
- Third level: Gates from B1 to B40.
The Liege Airport (IATA: LGG, ICAO: EBLG), previously called Liege-Bierset, is located in Wallonian Liege, 5 nautical miles (9.3 km) west of the city. There is a heavy emphasis on air freight at the airport. Liege Airport has become Europe’s 5th largest and world’s 22nd largest cargo airport.
The Liege Airport ground handling serve private aircrafts. There is a maximum runway length of 3,690 meters. The airport has two runways. Liege Airport has a 3,690 m-long main runway, which allows all kinds of aircraft to take off fully loaded. In addition to connecting airports across Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania, it also connects airports throughout the world.
Liege Airport Terminal
It is on this site that Liege Airport’s terminal was opened in 1930. The airport primarily serves freight/cargo aviation ground handling operations, but it also serves passengers (mainly charter flights). This triangle of Paris – Amsterdam – Frankfurt carries 66% of all European freight. When combined with London, it carries 75%.
Belgian Flight Permits
In order to obtain an overflight permission, civil aircraft must submit the following information in due time:
- Name, address, phone and fax number
- Aircraft type, nationality, and registration marks
- Airport of departure and arrival
- The route, the date, the time, and the point at which the Belgian FIR’s borders were crossed.
A landing permit is required for certain charter flights (not scheduled commercial flights). The Belgian government requires charter permits. It takes four working days for such permits to be granted, and operators must be certified as Third Country Operators by EASA. For landing permit, you will need the following documents:
- Airworthiness certificate
- Aircraft registration
- Radio station license
- Minimum equipment list (MEL) (if operator plans on operating under this option)
- Aircraft flight manual with weight and balance information.
- MNPS LOA if planning on operating in MNPS airspace.
- Copies of aircraft and engine logbooks.
It is mandatory to obtain an airport slot before filing a flight plan. You must provide your handler with the same schedule time as the airport slot you obtained (Schedule time of departure or arrival STD/STA)
The following steps should be taken in case of a delay within the same UTC Day of operation:
- Flights that are delayed within the same day should not be rescheduled in the evening, even if they are operating in the night time (This is the rule of IATA Worldwide Scheduling Guidelines).
- Your handling agent should not be informed of any changes to the schedule. The standard published schedules of the flight (STA/STD) are transmitted to the airport’s central database by handling agent.
Belgian Airport Operations and Ground Handling
Upon receiving authorization, the Belgian International Airports Company allows any interested service provider to offer ground handling services and any airline operator to conduct self-handling at Brussels and Liege Airports.
1. Operating Hours and Airport Slots
The Liege Airport offers 24-hour operations for Stage 3 aircraft (business aviation jets). It is not necessary to obtain slot permission in advance at Liege airport, as long as a slot is specified before landing (At least 24 hours in advance).
For aircraft with MTOW greater than 34 tons or a capacity greater than 19 seats (crew seats excluded), EBBR aircraft restrictions apply based on your individual noise Quota Count (QC):
- QCs above 8 are forbidden to take off or land between 2200 and 459 local time
- QCs above 12 are forbidden to take off or land between 0500 and 0559 local time
- It is forbidden to take off with a QC over 48 from 0600-1959 local time
- It is forbidden to landing with a QC over 24 from 0600-1959 local time
- It is forbidden to take off with a QC over 24 from 200-2159 local time
- It is forbidden to landing with a QC over 12 from 2000-2159 local time
When the density of flights at EBBR is high, airport slots are required for all aircraft. For flights that require slots, deviations will be up to 15 minutes, and flight plans will be filed using the confirmed slot time. It is important to note that no airport slots are allocated Saturdays and Sundays, 2300-0559 local time.
2. Fuel Service
Brussels and Liege international airports have jet fuel services available, especially Jet A-1 and Avgas fuels. Aside from this, the Brussels airport defines business aviation fuel cards, which facilitates a more rapid and systematic process.
3. Fleet Planning
Operational Control Center (OCC) also benefit from improved arrival time predictability at Belgian International Airports. Based on delay notifications received during earlier legs, an aircraft that is scheduled to fly several sectors over the course of the day can be proactively rescheduled (or cancelled).
When a flight pushes back, the airline may receive an ACARS or movement (MVT) message. Signal timestamps are often used to determine punctuality, but they are inconsistent). Based on default taxi time values and estimated elapsed time (EET), NMOC generates an ETA.
4. Apron Movements
TSAT (Target Start-Up Approval Time) reduces ground movement congestion and runway queues by keeping flights on stand until the ATM (Air Traffic Management) system is available to accept them in Belgian airports. Known as green delay, this is a more eco-friendly and fuel-efficient method of balancing capacity and demand.
5. Ground Noise Management
Brussel’s Noise Action Plan specifies that APUs, Ground Power Units (GPUs), and Pre-Conditioned Air (PCA) usage and engine testing are controlled through operational safety instructions, especially at sensitive times. Compliance is also monitored through regular audits. There is also a ground noise management plan at this airport, which governs the major noise-making ground activities such as aircraft taxiing and engine ground runs.
These operations are not required to be included in the noise action plans, but they are of concern to residents, so they have been addressed. As a result of the new operating rules, improved record-keeping, and pre-approval processes, Brussels has implemented a ground noise monitoring trial.
6. Hotel and Transportations
The Brussels area offers a wide selection of excellent hotels, including 4- and 5-star options. Despite this, Liege does not have many hotel options. Hotel reservations should be made as far in advance as possible during this busy period due to increased traffic.
During the Belgian Grand Prix, it is recommended to pre-pay transportation (car with driver). The area will likely see heavy traffic, road closures, and a lack of parking, so it is not recommended to rent a vehicle.
How iJET Operates Business Flight Operation in Belgian
In Belgian airports, ground handling and flight operations are managed by a proactive and professional local handling agent network. From the moment you arrive until the moment you depart, iJET representatives are available to assist you. A professional flight support team continuously monitors flights in order to ensure the highest level of service.