DALLAS — Liege Airport (LGG) announced that the Walloon Government would restrict it to 55,000 movements annually. However, there is still room for negotiation.
Over the years, the Belgium airport has mainly focused on freight operations and has grown to be Belgium’s main cargo hub. In 2022, the airport handled 1,140,060 tons of freight, a 19.3% decline compared to 1,412,498 tons of freight transported through the airport in 2021. LGG is located in Liege, Wallonia, in Belgium.
The contention started when the Walloon government announced it had decided on the terms of the 20-year environmental permit at the end of August 2022.
The cargo airport first contested the terms in September 2022 because of limits on flights and noise. The original permits stated that the airport had a maximum limit of 50,000 aircraft movements each year for aircraft over 34 tons put in place by the original legislation. The new permit is much more favorable for the airport and gives it more flexibility.
The airport 2020-2040 master plan, which received approval in December 2020 from the board of directors, anticipates 67,000 movements at peak time with no limits on night flights. The permit includes an obligation to reduce aircraft noise by 5% each year beginning in 2024.
There will also be a noise quota on night flights. The government introduced a quota with a gradual decrease in the noise level allowed after 11 p.m. through 2033.
The Airports Council International Europe commented that the limits would curb cargo volumes at LGG and make the airport lose business to competing airports. In a statement, LGG commented that it is already taking steps to reduce its environmental impact.
“Liege Airport takes note of the Walloon Government’s decision and salutes the work done by both the administration and the members of the Government. We would like to thank the various Ministers for their understanding of the crucial role that the airport plays in the Liege region and, more broadly, for Wallonia.”
Liege Airport further added, “For the companies and the thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the airport ecosystem, this decision is a positive signal. Liege Airport’s Board of Directors and management will take the time to analyze the new permit in detail and decide, if necessary, what action to take.”
Featured image: Liege Airport