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minister Kris Peeters
















Flemish absurdities, a license to kill?

Absurdities are plenty in Flanders

On April 25th 2005, Flemish minister Kris Peeters (1) responsible for the Flemish environment, gave... Flemish minister Kris Peeters (1) (the same) responsible for regional airports, an environmental license for the management of Ostend-Bruges Airport. Does this sound absurd? It is absurd! Belgium is a greatly absurd country. Minister K. Peeters is a non elected technocrat, put in office by the political party CD&V. In a former life he was head of Flemish organisation UNIZO, a lobby group for small entrepreneurs. He now holds the two above mentioned offices!

For the people of Ostend living under or near the runways this means
-20 year long sleep disturbance, at a freq. of 3 times a night (old cargo planes, banned at Zaventem, allowed for ten more years!).
-license for 39,000 movements yearly between 06:00 and 23:00 hrs (a plane every 9 mins above gardens, beaches...)
-a license for 36.000 small planes yearly (flying lawnmowers)

In any normal country
Ostend-Bruges Airport, with residential areas very near or under the runways (275 meters), would be closed during the night! Rotterdam Airport, Manston Airport, Sydney Airport, etc...  all are closed during the night. Not so in Belgium.

Three movements each night is three to many
Sound Isolation is no solution, it's too costly in relation to the few movements and brings people in a very bad interior home  air quality. Windows can not be opened! Demolishing houses is even more absurd.

Keeping an Airport open during the night
for only 3 (three) movements (manning the fire brigade, security, ground and air control) is very foolish as it's an enormous waste of taxpayers money. A need for commercial night-flights has never been proved. Minister Peeters, being an ex student of the Vlerickschool for management, is putting his own principals aside!

The Flemish Government, and its member minister Peeters, is also allowing a new residential area being built at 275 meters from the take-off point of runway 26!
This is very absurd! Even more absurd is that, to solve this new absurdity, the new Ostend residents (all after 2001)  won't be taken in account in the yearly calculations of potential severely hindered people! Safety and risk assessment have also not been made.

And this brings us to more absurdity
..., the fact that the ministerial decision-making was based on a faulty Environmental Effect Report (EER) is astonishing. An interior advice by the minister's own administration talks about severe shortcomings in the EER.

And this brings us to more absurdity...,
the fact that the decennia long heavily subsidized public Airport of Ostend-Bruges distorts fair competition within the EU. MK airlines, for ex., moved from the private airport of Manston (UK) to Ostend-Bruges. This in spite of  the fact that its cargo is meanly intended for the British marked. The unnecessary extra transport causes extra damage to the environment! A inquiry by WILOO at EU commission has been asked.

More and more people are complaining about kerosene smell
in the vicinity of the airport. Decennia long demands by WILOO for counter-measures have been ignored (2). LTO (landing and takeoff) effects and vortex-induced pollution near runways should not be ignored. Air quality has not been taken seriously by the government. New EU regulations give WILOO new ammunition.

The ministerial decision jeopardises current costal economical activity  through tourism!
All this for potential  transport activities with "low added value".
Giving a license to overfly gardens, camping's, historic sites, beaches etc.. every 9 minutes is not stimulating durable high quality tourism. It doesn't help in  trying to keep Belgians out of polluting planes and having them spend more money in the labour-intensive local tourist sector!

WILOO is not really pleased
with all the above misgovernment. WILOO will (after our next meeting), take further legal steps and launch an appeal to the Belgian Council of State to correct the above economical, legal and environmental 


ecology? economy?
Peeters & Peeters






minister Kris Peeters
regional airports