Liège Airport gets new environmental permit

The Walloon government has granted Liège Airport a new environmental permit. The Council of State initially threatened to annul that. Still, strengthening the permit’s legal basis, including the limit of 55,000 authorized flights per year, remedied that shortcoming.

At the end of February, the auditor at the State Council ordered the annulment of the license granted in January 2023. Several parties, including Limburg and Dutch municipalities, Flanders, and some environmental movements, had gone to the Council of State against that new license.

As the airport operators feared they would have to cease operations, the Walloon government quickly opted for a procedure whereby the license would be withdrawn and regranted. This would halt the ongoing proceedings before the Council of State while strengthening the license’s legal basis.

Tougher penalties

Walloon Planning Minister Willy Borsus (MR) and Environment Minister Céline Tellier (Ecolo) have signed the new combined permit for Liege Airport, which is crucial for cargo and has 11,000 employees dependent on the site.

The license will run for 20 years and thus retain the limit of 55,000 flights per year. The government also approved several decrees implementing the airport’s license and territorial anchoring.

The administrative penalties for exceeding noise standards will also be made more challenging, and more noise meters will be installed. The government is also committed to setting up a task force to analyze the problem of airport mobility. The airport has also clarified that it would like to increase rail transport, especially for fuel.

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