A BELGIAN COURT ruling that aircraft cannot fly over certain Brussels suburbs between 23.00 and 06.00 will effectively close the capital's international airport during that period.

An 11 July ruling means that the main runways, 25R-07 and 22, cannot be used at night. Brussels Airport night traffic is mainly courier and freight services, but includes some charter flights.

The court has also published a list of aircraft which are to be excluded completely. The list consists of mainly Stage 2 aircraft and specifies such types as the Boeing 737-200, used by Sabena and its charter subsidiary, Sobelair. Other aircraft hit by the ban include some Boeing 747 freighters. DHL, which operates hushkitted Boeing 727s, is also affected. The Regie des Voies A‚riennes (RVA), which operates Brussels Airport, says that the decision is a disaster and effectively closes the airport at night. At least 2,000 jobs are at risk.

Source: Flight International