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Brussels Airport partially closes one runway for emergency repairs

14:30 15/06/2023

Asphalt problems on one of the runways have resulted in Brussels Airport needing to close it for several hours each day.

Brussels Airport has three runways and one of them (25L/07R) needs to be renovated due to damage to the asphalt.

This runway will be closed for most of each day for renovation works in the coming weeks, and during one week at the end of June.

Runway 25L/07R is the southern of the two parallel runways at Brussels Airport, handling 30% of all flights to and from the airport last year – mainly landings from the east.

Damage to the asphalt was found during inspections and the problems are not only due to normal wear and tear, but “perhaps also due to the changing weather conditions with large amounts of rainfall and increasingly high temperatures”, the airport said.

“Thorough inspections of runway 25L/07R carried out last week have shown that maintenance work was required in the short term to guarantee the good condition and safety of the runway,” it added.

“The closure of the runway, every afternoon and evening, first to allow for further inspections and preliminary work, then for the actual work from 19 to 28 June, will have an impact on the runway use.

"Apart from the maintenance work, the runway use is also governed by the wind component, which has strongly impacted runway use these past few weeks. Brussels Airport and its partners are doing their utmost to minimise the impact of this work.”

The damage is not yet so severe that the runway can no longer be used, airport spokeswoman Ihsane Chioua Lekhli said, “but it is important that renovations are done”, namely a new layer of asphalt in certain places.

To prepare and carry out that work, 25L/07R will be closed from midday to 5.00 the following morning, every day until 28 June. Taking into account flight schedules, the runway will be operational during the morning peak.

“This work will have an impact on runway use, which means that it will not always be possible to apply the PRS (Preferential Runway System),” the airport added.

“Brussels Airport will make every effort to limit the impact on operations and apply the PRS to a maximum, but the wind direction too plays an important role in the choice of runways.

"Works and wind conditions are indeed two elements that can impact the PRS. Weather conditions, and particularly wind conditions, are a decisive factor in the choice of runway configuration at every airport across the world to guarantee the safety of an aircraft, its passengers and the inhabitants of the overflown area.”

This means that in the event of strong east or north-east winds, as has been the case for several weeks now, air traffic controllers must activate an alternative configuration (runways 07L/R and/or 01/19).

Written by Helen Lyons