Temporary closing of Belgian airspace

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Thursday 19th of July, the Belgian airspace was closed for around two hours due to a technical issue at Belgocontrol.

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Due to a technical issue at Belgocontrol, the company in charge of the control of the airspace in Belgium, most of the flights landing or taking off from Belgian airports between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. were stuck at the airports. The planes flying over the Belgian airspace had to turn around, and only a few of the flights flying 8 000 metres over the country were allowed, as that specific portion of air traffic is handled by a different agency (Maastricht, in the Netherlands).

The main affected airports were Brussels and Charleroi, with a few thousand people affected and a few dozen flights cancelled or delayed. The airport of Brussels forecasts that Friday 20th July, all the flights will leave as scheduled, starting at 6 a.m..

This technical issue is quite problematic, as the electronic music festival Tomorrowland will be held in the country this weekend. The airports are expecting more passengers than usual, with close to 400 000 people expected to turn up at the festival.

As per usual, the groups and people opposed to planes and the fly-over of specific regions were happy, with comments such as “it should be like this all the time” (written in a very bad level of French) and “A few hours of peace for the 500000 tortured people at bxl [Brussels] and bw[Walloon Brabant]”, which are quite funny to read as one can wonder how these people travel during holidays and such.

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