Flanders clears way for tramline Brussels North Station and airport

The permit for the Airport Tram, which will connect Brussels Airport to Brussels, has been granted by Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA). Construction works could start in late 2025 to early 2026.

The Brussels Region had already issued planning permission for the Brussels section of the future inter-regional tram line to the national airport. With the new line, including six new stops, a trip from Brussels North to Zaventem will take around 30 minutes throughout 12 km.

Missing link

Eight of those 12 km are already in place, with the remaining four yet to be built. The tramline branches off at the Eurocontrol stop of MIVB/STIB’s line 62, connecting the NATO headquarters in Evere with the airport in Zaventem. At the same time, the Brussels Region wants to further transform this urban access into an urban boulevard.

The permit for the section of the route that runs through Brussels territory, some 400 meters, had already been given in June. The rest of the section, which goes through Flanders, has also been authorized.

“It is too crazy that we still do not have a tram connection between Brussels and Zaventem airport,” said Minister Demir. “That is why we are cutting the knot to build the missing link and finally achieve a smooth connection.”

Ready by 2029 to 2030

The current timing has been pushed back a bit compared to previous schedules. Earlier timings were aiming for early 2024 as the start of the works, but it may only be in late 2025 or early 2026.

Now that the permits are in place, the tendering process to find a contractor should start. The works are estimated to take four years. Therefore, The new tram will be ready by 2029 to 2030, reports De Werkvennootschap, coordinating the project.

“This is an important milestone in a crucial dossier for the interregional mobility of the region of Flemish Brabant and Brussels,” believes Kris Claes, managing director of employer organization Voka-Kvk Flemish-Brabant. “Not only will the airport tram make a difference for employment to and from Brussels Airport, but the business areas around it, such as Machelen and Zaventem, will also be easier to reach.”

According to studies commissioned by De Werkvennootschap, the tram has a potential of some 10 000 passengers per day.


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