Brussels Airport also called Brussels National Airport or Zaventem Airport , is an international airport located in Zaventem, in Flanders, near Brussels , Belgium ..Brussels Airport is a hub to SN Brussels Airlines, Virgin Express and DHL Aviation.
Brussels Airport was created during WWII by the German occupying force. There is an urban legend about the airport creation in Zaventem. According to this legend, the Germans would have built the airport after asking locals what was the best place to build it, and Belgians then would have pointed them this location because they knew it was an often foggy place.
After the German occupation, the Belgian army took control over Brussels Airport . When the old civil airport in Haren became too small, it was decided to use the terrains in Zaventem as the new national airport. By 1948, a new terminal building was constructed to replace the old wooden building.
In 1955, a train line connecting Brussels with the airport was inaugurated by King Baudouin. A direct train link with Leuven and Liege was opened on December 12, 2005. A link with Antwerp will be completed in 2010. In April 1957, construction started of the new terminal, preparing Brussels Airport for the 1958 World Fair. During the boom of commercial aviation in the 1960’s and 1970’s, several hangars were constructed. A new cargo terminal was constructed in 1976.
In 1994, a brand new terminal was constructed adjacent to the old 1958 building. Two old piers were torn down and replaced by modern ones. In 2002, amidst the turmoil engulfing the demise of Sabena, a new pier was opened. This Pier A is destined to support flights from and to the Schengen treaty countries.
In 2005, Brussels Airport served 16.2 million passengers, an increase of 3.5% over 2004. The cargo volume in the same year amounted to 702,819 tons, an increase of 5.8% over 2004.
Sabena’s demise meant a sharp fall in passenger traffic, a blow the airport only slowly recovered from. Brussels Airport ’s future is threatened by disagreement between the governments of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region concerning nocturnal air traffic routes.
Brussels National Airport is operated by Brussels International Airport Company which was created by Belgian law through a merger of BATC with the ground operations departments of the RLW/RVA.