Brussels Airport noise contours for 2020


Brussels Airport permanently carries out sound measurements to map out the noise pollution around the airport. You can view these measurements here. In addition, the airport also has noise contours calculated every year. These calculations are carried out by an independent body; since 2015, this has been Ghent University. You can read the complete report for 2020 here

As a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, air traffic to and from Brussels Airport in 2020 fell by nearly 60% compared to 2019. This evolution is obviously reflected in the results of the noise contours , where a sharp decline of the surface area within the various noise contours can be seen. The total surface area inside the Lden contour of 55 dB(A) (see map below) dropped in 2019 by about 40% of 9,115 ha in 2029 to 5,549 ha in 2020. 



It is striking that the decrease of the noise contours is not spread evenly over the various areas around the airport. This is due to several events in 2020 that had an impact on how the traffic at the airport was distributed over the various runways.

  • During the summer period (July/August), a thorough renovation of runway 25R/07L was carried out during which this runway was temporarily closed for all traffic. During this period, use was mainly made of the cross runway in southerly direction.
  • During the first lockdown period in the COVID-19 crisis, a switch was made to single runway use for the operations (i.e. landings and take-offs on the same runway), whereby the most southerly runway (07R/25L) was also closed.
  • The COVID-19 crisis had an enormous impact primarily on passenger flights; the cargo activity was less severely affected. Zones where the noise levels in 2019 were mainly due to passenger flights thus showed a larger decrease in 2020.

Also, the number of people who are potentially highly annoyed, calculated according to the VLAREM regulations, within the Lden-noise contour of 55 dB(A), showed a sharp decline from 14,420 in 2019 to 6,756 in 2020, a decrease of 53%.



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