NEWS Archive

NEWS 2010/04

December 2010
29/12 - Aviation Hall of Royal Army Museum evacuated and temporarily closed

The Aeronautical Department of the Royal Army Museum at Brussels has been evacuated at midday because part of the roof showed signs of collapsing under the heavy weight of snow. Some 200 visitors had to leave the aviation hall as a precautionary measure and this part of the museum will be temporarily closed. Three to four aircraft which were directly under the roof's weak spot have been moved as well. Sources: HLN & Le Soir

25/12 - Belgian civil air traffic statistics for November 2010

The monthly statistics on air traffic and airport movements in Belgium over November 2010 published by Belgocontrol show an increase of 335 movements or +0.43%. (77.776 movements up from 77.441 compared to the same month one year earlier). Airport statistics present the following figures for the month of November 2010: Brussels Airport: 18.492 movements (+4.05%), Charleroi-Brussels South: 6.023 movements (-3.21%), Liège-Bierset: 4.023 movements (+13.10%), Oostende: 3.579 movements (-28.42%) and Antwerpen-Deurne: 3.504 movements (-10.63%). Canac controlled air traffic between ground level and flight level 245 (including Luxembourg flight levels 135 to 245): 42.155 movements (+2.90%).   Source: Belgocontrol

23/12 - Ryanair to add Pescara and Perugia in Italy as new destinations from Charleroi

Budget airline Ryanair is to further extend its network from Brussels South- Charleroi airport with the addition of two new destinations in Italy. Starting from the new summer season the low cost carrier will fly four times a week to Pescara and twice a week to Perugia. Including Pescara and Perugia, Ryanair now serves 63 destinations from Charleroi, fifteen of which to Italy.  Source: Luchtvaartnieuws.

21/12 - Brand-new Citation XLS+ delivered to ASL at Antwerpen-Deurne Airport.

Around 10h15 a brand new Cessna Citation XLS+ was delivered to ASL Airtaxi in very snowy condition at Antwerpen-Deurne Airport. The aircraft which is registered PH-PKD was ferried from Cessna at Wichita (USA) and made one touch-and-go upon arrival at its new home base.  Picture by Jef Pets.

20/12 - Fourth Airbus Military A400M makes first flight

The fourth Airbus Military A400M military airlifter has made its first flight – the culmination of a highly successful 2010 which also saw the fleet of Grizzly development aircraft complete just over 1,000 hours flight-time and 300 flights. Known as Grizzly 4, the aircraft took off from Seville, Spain with a weight of 130 tonnes at 10h18 local time (GMT+1) and landed five hours and ten minutes later. Experimental Test Pilot Klaus-Dietrich Flade captained the flight, supported by Experimental Test Pilot Christophe Cail. The crew also included Test Flight Engineers José Aragón-Gómez and, Bruno Bigand, and Flight Test Engineers José Casado-Corpas, and Catherine Schneider. Catherine is the first female Flight Test Engineer and test crew member to participate in an A400M first flight. Grizzly 4 is the fourth of an eventual five aircraft which will conduct the 3,700 hour flight-test programme leading to first delivery in around two years time. It will be primarily dedicated to cargo and air-to-air refuelling operations and carries a medium flight-test instrumentation load. Source: Airbus Military

20/12 - Brussels Airport announces 6.6% growth over November 2010

Brussels Airport has handled 1.32 million passengers over the month of November 2010. Compared to the same period one year earlier, this represents a 6.6% growth mainly as a result of the recovery of air travel and the expansion of destinations offered from Brussels. European destination saw a 4.6% growth with some 812.000 passengers handled, but on intercontinental routes a raise of 10.5% has been registered with some 511.000 passengers handled. Transit traffic was up 25.5% which according to Brussels Airport main shareholder Macquarie, that Brussels becomes more and more the European hub for the Star Alliance. Source:   

19/12 - Landing Embraer Phenom runs off runway at Antwerpen-Deurne

A twin engine Embraer Phenom has run off the runway at Antwerpen-Deurne airport near the Vosstraat. No passengers were on board and both pilots remained unhurt but the aircraft suffered some damage. Due to the incident one aircraft had to divert to Zaventem as the airport remained closed for all landing aircraft. Source: De Morgen.

17/12 - Ryanair might use Liège Bierset as second Belgian base.

In a reaction on a new airline tax imposed by the German government for each flight departing the country, Ryanair is planning to cut back more than 50% (3 million passengers) of its flights in Germany and in doing so putting some 3.000 jobs in jeopardy. As Liège–Bierset airport is situated close to the German border it could well become a second Ryanair base in Belgium according to some rumours. The same source adds that Ryanair could establish routes to Bologna (Italy) and Gerona (Spain) from Bierset. Source:  

17/12 - Belgian Air Force F-16BM hits high tension cables in Morocco

A N° 350 Squadron Lockheed Martin F-16BM two seat fighter has hit some high-tension power cables in Morocco some weeks ago cutting electrical power in some parts of the country. The aircraft suffered only some minor damage to the undercarriage and could be repaired on the spot. Florennes based N° 350 Squadron was on a deployment to the Moroccan Air Force base of Sidi Slimane (see also Belgian Wings News item of 15 November “ Florennes' N° 350 Squadron on exercise in Morocco”) for its planned low flying training session. Source: De Standaard

15/12 - Belgian Air Force F-16's to receive new identification equipment (IFF)

The Council of Ministers has approved Minister of Defence Pieter De Crem's proposal for a tender for the acquisition of a new standard of identification equipment (IFF mode 5) and advanced data transfer equipment for the Belgian Air Force F-+16 fighters. This upgrade is foreseen in the framework of the F-16 Commonality and Interoperability Consolidation program via the US Department of Defence foreign sales procedure. Source: Presscenter 

15/12 - Remembrance ceremony for the crew of Avro Lancaster DX-P at St-Marie-Lierde

On Sunday 19/12/2010 the 10th remembrance ceremony will be organised for the crew of N° 57 Squadron Avro Lancaster W4234/DX-P which was shot down by a Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 110 of 1./NJG4 on December 21st 1942 and crashed at Lierde. The ceremony will take place at the monument at Kakebeke, Sint-Maria-Lierde at 21h00 in the presence of Group Captain Tony Gunby who served with N° 57 Squadron RAF.   Source: Wings of Memory

14/12 - Wizz Air announces new Charleroi - Belgrade route

Wizz Air announced a new route from Brussels-South Charleroi Airport to Belgrade, Serbia. As of March 29th, the Hungarian airline will operate two weekly flights to the Serbian capital city. These flights will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Source: BSCA

14/12 - The Royal Army Museum celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Dakota.

Between December 17th, 2010 and January 7th, 2011 visitors to the Royal Army Museum at Brussels will be able to visit the interior of the only complete Douglas DC-3/C-47B Dakota preserved in Belgium to celebrate the 75th anniversary of this aircraft’s first flight. On 17 December a former DC-3 pilot will be available to give more information to the press and visitors.   More info here  +  Belgian Wings' Douglas C-47B Dakota page.

08/12 - USAF Thunderbirds to perform at the Koksijde Airshow 2011

The official United States Air Force demonstration team, the Thunderbirds will be performing at the Belgian Air Force's 65th Anniversary airshow at Koksijde on 6 and 7 July 2011. Created on May 25, 1953 the Thunderbirds is one of the best known aerobatic teams in the world and form part of the 57th Wing based at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, Nevada, US.  The Thunderbirds originally flew the Republic F-84G Thunderjet and through the years the team has evolved flying aircraft such as the F-100C Super Sabre, F-105B Thunderchief, F-4Phantom II and today's mighty F-16C Fighting Falcon. Source and more information at: USAF Thunderbirds

07/12 - Former Light Aviation Commander has passed away.

Jean-Marie Vander Vorst, who was Commanding Officer of the Belgian Army’s Light Aviation section between 1981 and 1988, has passed away. Jean-Marie started his carreer as student pilot with the Light Aviation in 1956 (Promotion 56B). In November 1959 he became the first Belgian pilot to be qualified on the Alouette II helicopter at Dax (F.). Sources : and 

07/12 - Russian delegation led by President Medvedev at Brussels

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev was at Brussels to participate in the 26th European – Russia Summit organised on December 7th 2010. The Russian president positively concluded talks with the European Union as part of Russia’s 17-year bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). On his second day in Brussels, Medvedev met with Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme and King Albert II. The Russian delegation’s four unusual aircraft were parked on the tarmac of the 15th Transport Wing at Melsbroek Air Base, again a great challenge for the new BruMil terminal. Pictures of the Russian aircraft at Melsbroek at SBAP

03/12 - Green light for upgrade of Federal Police helicopters.

The Council of Ministers has given the green light for a proposal by Interior Minister Annemie Turtelboom (Open VLD), to launch a Governmental tender for the acquisition of upgrade kits to modify the Federal Police  MD900 helicopters to MD902 standards. These kits will include engines and other adaptive equipment. Source: NL  &  FR

03/12 - Helicopter with Belgian crew who went missing in 1965 discovered 

Helicopter Piasecki H-21 Workhorse FG- 378 of the Force Aérienne Congolaise which crashed with its Belgian crew in North Eastern Congo on June 27th 1965 has finally been (re-)discovered. The Belgian crew composed of pilots Adj Robert Jacobs and Adj Frans Allaeys and technician Raymond Bardon were still reported as missing and an expedition called "Buta 65" was set up, composed of members of the 2nd Bat Commando's of Flawinne assisted by personnel of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The family of the crew members has been informed that their beloved ones were finally found back. Source: HLN  -  De Standaard  - more information at

03/12 - Air Component Alouette III helicopters loose their "Marine " titles

Since a couple of months now, two of the three Alouette III helicopters of the Air Component have lost their "Marine" titles. Because of the common defence structure, no specific arm references are used anymore. In this logic the former army Agusta helicopters also already lost their "Landmacht/Force Terrestre" titles on the fuselage. Alouette III M-1, currently engaged in Atalanta II operations aboard the Marine Component's frigate F931 "Louise Marie ", temporarily keeps its Marine titles. Picture of Alouette III M-2 by Wim Houquet.   

02/12 - Thai Airways “Cargo” flying to/from Belgium

On 3 November 2010 the first airplane from Thai Cargo arrived at approximately 06:20 am at Liege airport (EBLG / LGG). This flight departed in Bangkok / Thailand via New Delhi / India and was the beginning of a new freight schedule to / from Belgium. This full freighter service is now running twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday. Two aircrafts are flying since the beginning of March 2010 under a block space agreement (BSA). First destination was Frankfurt and later followed by Amsterdam. All aircrafts are owned and operated by Southern Air with their new Boeing B.777-200LRF delivered in February 2010. Flightschedule:   day 3  etd LGG  07:20  TG/9S-9422,  day 6  etd LGG  10:40  TG/9S-9802 More to come: a full article will be online end Dec’10.    Pictures by Jean-Marie Hanon & Dirk Geerts

02/12 - Brussels Airlines passengers can now offset their CO2 emissions

From now, passengers travelling with Brussels Airlines can, on a voluntary basis, compensate for the CO2 emissions linked to their flights with a small financial contribution. The contributions will be used, initially, to purchase CO2-reducing, environmentally-friendly stoves in Africa. In the meanwhile, Brussels Airlines will continue with its green initiatives for its flight operations. Source: Brussels Airlines press release via

02/12 - Six States go forward with common air traffic management.

On 2 December, the Ministers of Transport and high-level military representatives from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland signed the FABEC States Agreement (Functional Airspace Block Europe Central) in Brussels/Belgium. With their signatures, the six States involved establish a common functional block of airspace and organise air traffic management irrespective of national borders. With this agreement, the States put a framework in place for air navigation service providers to improve their performance in terms of safety, environmental impact, capacity, cost effectiveness, shorter routes and military mission effectiveness. FABEC, which will handle about 55 percent of all flights in Europe and covers the most complex traffic areas between the busiest airports, is a major step towards the Single European Sky programme (SES) which is being put in place by the  European Commission. The States Agreement is expected to be ratified by 2012. Source: FABEC

01/12 - Change of command at 2 W Tac Florennes and ASD Beauvechain

On December 1st, 2010 Colonel Luc GENNART transferred the command of the airbase Florennes to Colonel Michel COLLES. Colonel GENNART will command the Aviation Safety Directorate (ASD) at Beauvechain airbase. Source:

November 2010
30/11 - France to transfer airlifters to EATC

France is due to sign over authority for a large portion of its airlifters to the European Air Transport Command on Nov. 30. The EATC is a partnership of Germany, France, the Netherlands and Belgium to consolidate airlift assets to gain efficiencies. Germany signed over its airlifters and shut down its airlift planning cell in October, and the Netherlands followed on Nov. 26. Belgium, the final partner, plans to do so in January, says air force Col. Mike de Coninck, an EATC official. EATC will oversee 168 aircraft, including 80 from Germany and 61 from France. The European command is expected to declare its initial operational capability soon after the Belgian move, de Coninck tells a military airlifter conference. EATC is still defining what needs to be done to reach full operational capability, which is expected around 2013. De Coninck says planning for EATC expansion is beginning, but that will not happen until after full operational capability is reached. EATC also will be the tactical control organization for the planned European multinational airlift unit of Airbus Military A400M users. Source: Aviation Week

26/11  - A Belgian military pilot flies the Airbus A400M

Belgian Air Force pilot Lt Colonel Tanguy Flamant has made his first flight in the new European military transport aircraft the Airbus A400M "Grizzly". This pilot who was detached to the A400M test programme last August has made his first flight on November 18th from Toulouse (F.) on board the third prototype A400M (MSN 3). As such Flamant became the fourth military pilot from the A400M client nations to have flown the new transporter.  Belgium has ordered 7 Airbus A400M transport aircraft to replace the Lockheed C-130 Hercules at Melsbroek military airbase. Source: Belga

25/11 - Abelag expands Bizjet fleet with two Embraer Phenom 100s.

Belgian operator Abelag has expanded its fleet with the addition of 2 Embraer Phenom 100s, bringing the company's total fleet to 24 aircraft. The company is expecting delivery of an additional Phenom in the course of next year. Abelag's fleet has more than doubled since 2005, a sure sign that more and more companies in the area are noticing the benefits of business jet travel. Since the beginning of 2010, Abelag started working together with charter company The Aviation Factory and so far over 250 flight hours have been chartered with Abelag aircraft. Source: Luchtvaartnieuws

25/11 - Jetairfly to receive new Boeing 737-800, to be registered OO-JAX

Jetairfly is to receive today its 12th Boeing 737 at Brussels Airport. The aircraft concerned is a brand new B737-800 with registration OO-JAX. Important to notice is that Jetairfly will be the first European airline to get a B737-800 with Sky Interior. This will bring the Jetairfly fleet to a total of 14 aircraft. Source:

23/11 - Royal Army Museum celebrates 100th anniversary with Nocturne on December 2nd, 2010

On Thursday December 2nd, 2010, the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History (better known as the Riyal Army Museum) will be celebrating its 10th anniversary.  The Museum which is on of the largest of its kind in Europe will organise a lot of activities (see programme in WinWord) for both young and old and even a birthday cake awaits the visitors of the Nocturne. There will be guided tours about museology en "behind the scenes" visits of the many workshops of the museum. In the aeronautical section visitors will be able to discover the newly arrived Dassault Mirage F.1 of the French Armée de l'Air still wearing its dessert camouflage from operations in Africa. Source: KLM/MRA

22/11 - Brussels Airport: 8% more passengers over October 2010

Over the month of October 2010 Brussels Airport has handled over 1.6 million passengers, representing an 8.1% increase if compared to the same period last year. Growth was noted especially in the long-haul and transfer segments, but since October intra-European traffic too is progressing strongly. Brussels Airport recorded 20,700 movements in October, a 3 % increase by last year.  Destinations flown from Brussels Airport will significantly increase in the coming months. New connection will be offered to Fez, Oujda and Casablanca in Morocco, Nairobi in Kenya, Kigali in Rwanda and Doha in Qatar. Within Europe flights are added to Frankfurt, Larnaca, Liverpool, Leipzig and Podgorica. Source: Express

19/11 - Direct rail link to Brussels Airport disturbed on 20 Nov and on 27 Nov 2010

On Saturday 20 November 2010 in the morning, from 00.30 am till 10.30 am there will be no direct rail link to Brussels Airport due to infrastructure works. Trains will only go as far as Zaventem. From the railway station of Zaventem, buses will take the passengers to Brussels Airport. Infrabel, manager of the Belgian railway infrastructure, expects the delays to be around 20 minutes. Railway traffic will be disrupted as well on Saturday 27 November 2010, this time from 00.30 am till 5.30 pm. Source: Brussels Airport

17/11 - Furious Ryanair passengers hold protest in grounded plane at Liège Bierset airport.

More than 100 angry passengers refused to leave a Ryanair flight after it was diverted to Belgium, demanding that they be taken home, police and fire-fighters said. The passengers, mostly French tourists who were supposed to land near Paris after returning from holidays in Morocco, sat in a dark cabin in protest hours after even the pilot and crew had left the plane at the Liege airport. "The passengers in retaliation to the company (Ryanair) refuse to come out," an airport police official told. They were offered one of the airport's transit rooms to wait in, but refused. The airport was trying to organise buses to take the passengers back to France. Passengers on the plane said that the flight had left Fes, Morocco, three hours late at 7:15 pm local time but had been unable to land in Beauvais, France, because the airport there had closed. The plane landed in Liege at around 11:30 pm and passengers were still inside it at 3:30 am the next morning. Source: Expatica

16/11 - Brussels Airport runway 25L closed because of WWII bomb

During works at the location of the new NATO Headquarters at Haren near Brussels, a 200 kg bomb dating from the Second World War was discovered. Due to location in proximity of Zaventem, Brussels Airport authorities decided to temporarily close Runway 25L which leads directly over the site. According to the police the bomb was of German origin and was used during the attacks on Haren/Evere airfield in May 1940. Source: de

15/11 - Florennes' N° 350 Squadron on exercise in Morocco

350th Squadron of the 2nd Tactical Wing of Florennes is currently on exercise in Morocco at the air base in Sidi Slimane. The detachment is composed of seven aircraft and 85 soldiers, including twelve pilots. During this deployment the squadron pilots sharpen their skills in specific disciplines. The Moroccan terrain offers excellent training conditions in nearly perfect weather, and a realistic training environment in the provided air space. With this exercise, the squadron is preparing to participate in ISAF Afghanistan, but not exclusively. During this block training the pilots can exercise in a light weight aircraft configuration and can perform air-to-air scenarios with fewer restrictions than the European airspace. Source:

13/11 - BAHA members invited by the British ambassador.

Baha members, Dirk De Quick and Omer "Boomer" Vanden Bosch have been invited by the British ambassador Jonathan Brenton who wanted to thank these members for their involvement with the remembrance ceremony last May 2010 for the crashed Lancaster crew. Picture of the ambassador with both Baha members. 

12/11 - First Moroccan destinations for Brussels Airlines

As of next April Brussels Airlines will start connections each weekend from Brussels to Marrakech and Agadir in Morocco and Lamezia Terme in Italy. With the inclusion of Marrakech and Agadir Brussels Airlines' African network has expanded to twenty destinations. The two cities are the first Moroccan destinations for the Belgian Airline. Source:

10/11 - Shorter night routes in Europe

As part of the harmonisation of European airspace, shorter night routes are now being offered on 115 cross-border connections. These more environmentally friendly and cost-saving routes were made possible by FABEC (Functional Airspace Block Europe Central), where the air navigation service providers in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland are working on a joint airspace. The goal of FABEC is to offer pilots in European airspace as many direct routes as possible. Today, FABEC has shortened the 115 routes during the night which enables the airlines to save 800,000 nautical miles per year, which corresponds to approximately 1.481 million kilometres. This results in savings of 4,800 tonnes of kerosene and 16,000 tonnes of CO2. It was possible to offer these shorter routes to the airlines due to the fact that air traffic decreases significantly at night and that military training airspaces are also mostly inactive at this time. The shorter routes are particularly beneficial for cargo aircraft, which often operate at night. Source: FABEC

08/11 - Cessna 150 lands next to runway at Oostende Airport

A Cessna 150 of the Noordzee Vliegclub has landed next to the runway at Oostende Airport. A student pilot flying only his second solo-flight made an error of judgement resulting in a hard landing on the grass some 5 meters besides the runway. Fortunately the pilot was not hurt in this incident.  The aircraft suffered some damage. Source: Het Nieuwblad.

06/11 - EADS and Airbus welcome A400M agreement with customer nations

EADS and Airbus welcome the conclusion of negotiations with OCCAR and the seven A400M launch customer nations. The agreement, finalised in Toulouse in the presence of the French Defence Minister Hervé Morin, the national armament directors and other representatives from all customer nations, is the long awaited further detailing of the principle agreement reached in March 2010. More information and source: Airbus

03/11 - Brussels Airlines RJ100 victim of flaps problems on approach to Vienna airport.

Brussels Airlines Avro RJ-100, OO-DWI,  performing flight SN-2905 from Brussels to Vienna (Austria), aborted the approach to Vienna due to flaps problems. The airplane entered a holding for troubleshooting and performed a safe landing on Vienna's runway 16 some 30 minutes later with emergency services on stand by. Source:

03/11 - Ryanair to fly to Greek destination Volos from Charleroi.

Budget airline Ryanair will add the Greek city of Volos as a new destination from Charleroi - Brussels South Airport as of March 29th, 2011. The route to Volos, which is situated half way between Athens and Thessaloniki, will be flown twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Volos will be served via Nea Anchialos National Airport which is situated twenty kilometres South East of the city. At the same time it is reported that Ryanair suspends the Charleroi - Orio al Serio (Milano Nord-Este) route due to discussions over non payment of a local subsidy. Source: Luchtvaartnieuws.

October 2010
29/10 - Brussels Airlines increases frequency to Africa and Europe this winter

Brussels Airlines starts the winter season 2010-2011 with 4 new African destinations; Accra, Ouagadougou, Cotonou and Lome. It also will increase the frequency on a number of European routes such as Hannover, Newcastle, Bristol, Geneva, Vienna and Berlin. In comparison with one year earlier, this winter season some 32,000 direct flights will be offered, representing an increase of 5%. Thanks to partnerships with Star Alliance partners United Airlines, Continental Airlines, US Airways and Air Canada, Brussels Airlines now offers direct flights from Brussels Airport to Newark, Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia and Montreal. Partnership with Hainan Airlines will allow Brussels Airlines to be present for the first time this winter at Shanghai (China). A partnership with Star Alliance partner Blue1 guarantees daily flights to Helsinki and a commercial agreement with Croatia Airlines makes the Croatian capital Zagreb easily accessible. Also new this winter season is a partnership with Estonian Airlines in which Brussels Airlines offers its clients the choice of three flights weekly between the European capital and Tallinn. More information and source: Brussels Airlines

28/10 - Belgian civil air traffic statistics for September 2010

The monthly statistics on air traffic and airport movements in Belgium over September 2010 published by Belgocontrol show a decrease of 832 movements or -1.89%. (96.962 movements down from 98.794 compared to the same month one year earlier). Airport statistics present the following figures for the month of September 2010: Brussels Airport: 20.494 movements (-2.42%), Charleroi-Brussels South: 8.394 movements (-6.52%), Oostende: 8.110 movements (-7.53%), Antwerpen-Deurne: 6.249 movements (-11.36%) and Liège-Bierset: 4.695 movements (+11.81%). Canac controlled air traffic between ground level and flight level 245 (including Luxembourg flight levels 135 to 245): 49.020 movements (+0.46%).   Source: Belgocontrol

27/10 - Defence organises search for Belgian crew who went missing in Congo in 1965

Between November 21st and December 19th, 2010, Belgian Defence in collaboration with the Congolese Army, is setting up and expedition to search for the wreck of the Piasecki H-21 Workhorse FG- 378 helicopter which crashed with its Belgian crew in North Eastern Congo on June 27th 1965. The helicopter disappeared mysteriously near Stanleyville (now Kisangani) in a time of growing unrest. The (Belgian) crew composed of pilots Adj Robert Jacobs and Adj Frans Allaeys and technician Raymond Bardon is still reported as missing. The military base at Koksijde is still called “Basis Adjudant Vlieger Frans Allaeys” to honour one of the crew members. . Source: De Morgen

27/10 - Change of Command at the 15th Transport Wing at Melsbroek

In a ceremony organised at Melsbroek airbase, Colonel Avi Bernard Flamang has passed command of the base to Colonel Avi Bernard Masuy. Colonel Flamang has been the much appreciated base commander of Melsbroek airbase since the last three years. The base near Brussels houses the 15th Transport Wing equipped with Lockheed C-130H Hercules transport aircraft and Passengers/VIP aircraft (locally known as the “white products”, because of their colour scheme) such as the Embraer ERJ 135 and 145, Falcon 20 and 900 and the Leased Airbus A330. For the first time in the history of the 15th Transport Wing a young pilot received her wings during a change of command ceremony. Minister of Defence, Pieter De Crem (CD&V) in person presented the "Wing" to Captain Joke Marcoen, who has been  posted to the 20th Squadron as a C-130 pilot . Click here for pics of this event.

24/10 - Airbus A340 of Turkish Airlines damaged in heavy landing at Brussels Airport

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A340 on the flight from Istanbul made a rather heavy landing on runway 25L at Brussels Airport in which one of the engines hit the runway. According to some passengers there was a brief moment of panic aboard, but none of the occupants was injured. The aircraft could taxi to the gate where it was determined that the engine involved was damaged. The runway also suffered some degree of damage. Source: De Redactie

24/10 - B-Hunter UAV's operational from Florennes airbase as of October 25th, 2010

As of Monday October 25th, 2010, the B-Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) of the 80th Squadron UAV will be operational from Florennes airbase after their move from Elsenborn in Eastern Belgium. The unit and its 100 members of personnel had moved administratively to Florennes already on 18 October but due to bad meteorological conditions the first flight from the new base was postponed until next Monday. Source: Le Soir

22/10 - Strong growth in long-haul passengers at Brussels Airport.

Brussels Airport has handled 1.7 million passengers over the month of September 2010, a 4.1% increase compared to one year earlier. This growth is particularly remarkable for the long-haul passengers segment where a +20% raise was noted. Inter-European passenger traffic showed an increase while freight traffic showed a growth of 6.8% to 37.583 ton freight handled over the September month. Source:

21/10 - New base Commander at Florennes airbase

Colonel Avi Michel Colles will be the new Base Commander (BaseCO) of Florennes airbase. He is now Commander of the Aviation Safety Directorate (ASD) at Beauvechain. He succeed to Col Avi Luc Gennart who filed for an anticipate retirement after his political loaded statements on the linguistic balance at Defence. Source: Belga  

16/10 - Belgium's TNT to lease three Guggenheim Boeing 777 freighters

Belgian-based TNT Airways is to lease three Boeing 777 freighters from Guggenheim Aviation Partners for its Asian routes, introducing the type to its fleet as of next July 2011. Two more 777Fs will be brought into the TNT fleet by the end of the same year. TNT already uses four Boeing 747-400ERFs on its Europe-Asia routes. Two of these aircraft are owned while the other two are taken on short-term lease contracts. Atlas Air is wet-leasing 747-400ERF capacity to TNT, whose main operations are centred in Liege. Source:  Flightglobal

16/10 - EasyJet to start Brussels - Liverpool link

Budget airline EasyJet is to start a link between Brussels Airport and Liverpool (U.K.) in February of next year. The British port becomes the sixth direct destination served by EasyJet from Brussels Airport. Becomes of this new offer Brussels Airport will have 38 weekly flights to the United Kingdom flown by Brussels Airlines, British Airlines, Flybe, British Midlands and EasyJet. Source:

13/10 - Airbus A330 lost its "Belgian Air Force" markings on the fuselage.

The Belgian Air Component's Airbus A330 CS-TMT has lost (at least temporarily) its "Belgian Air Force" titles which where painted on the fuselage sides. The explanation is that the machine is sub-chartered more and more by a civilian operator. In a matter of fact Belgian company Brussels Airlines has used on several occasions this aircraft when it was not in use by the Belgian Air Force. However, Minister of Defence Pieter De Crem (CD&V) has asked that the mention "Belgian Air Force" would be repainted on this aircraft as soon as the sub leasing period is over. Source: Belga

12/10 - Sea King helicopter assists in searching building on fire at Aalst.

At Aalst, 51 residents of an apartment building on the Esplanade Square were evacuated after a major fire had broken out. Five people were hospitalized, but all are already dismissed. The building was searched to determine whether there were other victims. The fire started in the basement, where repairs on the elevators took place. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. A fire-fighter was injured during the rescue. The fire spread to other floors of the building but evacuation of the residents went smoothly despite a large cloud of smoke. A Sea King helicopter was used to search the roof of the building for residents. Source:

12/10 - Fourth Federal Police MD-900 helicopter on delivery.

A second hand MD -902 Explorer helicopter which was ordered last month (see BAHA News on 24/09 - "Belgian Federal Police to get an additional second-hand MD900 helicopter" was noted at Groningen airport on 11/10 on its delivery flight to Melsbroek airbase sporting an overall black finish with the registration G-16 on the aft fuselage. As soon as this MD-902 Explorer has entered service with the Dienst Luchtsteun Federale Politie / Service D'appui Aérien Police Fédérale, the three MDHI MD-900 helicopters will be modified into MDHI MD-902 helicopters. Explorer G-16 (c/n 900-00132) was test flown as N40216. On 14 August 2009, the helicopter was temporarily registered OY-HMS with CASA Air A/S, Horsens, Denmark. Source and picture: Avia Dejavu

11/10 - Cessna 550B Citation OO-FPB aborts take off at Antwerp-Deurne Airport.

Cessna 550B Citation Bravo OO-FPB  (cn 550-1117) of the Deurne based company Flying Group had to abort take-off at Antwerp-Deurne Airport around 15h30. Apparently the light business jet with 6 passengers on board had to cancel its take off procedure and ended up at the end of the runway with its nose partly over the Krijgsbaan cycling pad. None of the occupants were injured and damage is limited. Click here for a picture of the mishap by Ludo Dieltiens

06/10 - Ryanair to take legal action against Belgocontrol after last week's strike

Ryanair, which announced it was forced to cancel 1,400 flights and delay more than 12,000 others as a direct result of Belgian, French and Spanish ATC strikes in recent months, formally called on the European Commission to “end this ATC chaos” by removing the “right to strike” provision of essential ATC services in Europe and reforming the controversial EU261 passenger rights legislation. Ryanair's CEO Michael O’Leary revealed the company will take legal action against the Belgian ATC provider Belgocontrol following the wildcat strikes last week, which caused the cancellation of more than 90 Ryanair flights and disrupted more than 15,000 passengers. It claims the unannounced strike cost it €1 million ($1.37 million). Source: Ryanair

04/10 - Brussels South Charleroi handles 36% more passengers in September 2010

Brussels South Charleroi Airport welcomed 129,614 passengers more this September than in September last year. This represents an increase of 36%. A total of 490,641 passengers have registered compared to 361.027 passengers in the same period last year, despite the strikes of Belgian and French air traffic controllers. Source: BSCA

04/10 - Avient wants to expand its activities at Liège-Bierset airport.

Zimbabwean airline Avient has obtained a Belgian flying licence which will help the company to expand its network. In September 2009 the company has transferred its European operations from Vatry in France to Liège-Bierset airport. Thanks to the Belgian licence Avient will be able to base a second aircraft at Liège and expand its operations to the South American continent besides its niche market in Africa.  Source: 

03/10 - Brussels Airlines Airbus A330 touches down in sudden dark at Bujumbura.

A Brussels Airlines Airbus A330-300, registration OO-SFV performing flight SN-453 from Brussels (Belgium) to Bujumbura (Burundi), had just touched down in Bujumbura when an electrical power failure caused the entire airport including runway lighting to disappear into darkness for about 8 to 10 seconds until stand by power units took over. The airplane rolled out safely. Burundi's Civil Aviation Authority confirmed the power outage lasting for about 8 to 10 seconds until stand by power generators took over. There have been 3 or 4 power outages during the last year. The CAA has assigned priority to avoid a repeat that could cause an accident.Source: The Aviation Herald

02/10 - Two persons killed in mid-air collision between two private aircraft.

Two persons were killed in a mid-air collision between two private aircraft in France (Les Moères) near Adinkerke on the border with Belgium. The two pilots involved were experienced members of the Koksijde based West Aviation Club. Two occupants of a ULM (Ultra Light Motorised) VL3 aircraft OO-G55 were killed in the crash while two of the occupants of the other aircraft, Reims-Cessna F.172M Skyhawk II OO-WAO (cn F.1324) were injured in a field  emergency landing in which the aircraft overturned. Source: De

01/10 - DHL to launch new routes from Brussels Airport

As of mid-October 2010, DHL Express is to launch a direct link between Brussels Airport and Bahrain which will be flown three times a week. For this purpose the company will base a Boeing 777 freighter of Aerologic at Brussels Airport.   This is the second initiative by DHL Express as it already launched a new connection between Brussels and Barcelona and Madrid last September 13th. This proves that DHL maintains it’s support in its "Bru Hub". Source: Niewsbladtransport.

NEWS Archive

Last updated 30/12/2010 07:41 

Daniel Brackx -