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Green light given for Brussels stretch of new airport tram
Brussels residents are moving one step closer to being able to travel from the city centre to Brussels Airport by tram, following the decision of Pascal Smet, Brussels state secretary for urbanism and heritage, to grant a permit to build a stretch of tramline between Nato/Eurocontrol and the Flemish border.
The urban development permit, given to Flemish mobility organisation De Werkvennootschap, will also allow new cycling infrastructure. In addition, trees and other greenery will be planted along the line.
The new tram route will enhance what De Smet wants to be an urban boulevard, offering "a new opportunity for fast and sustainable travel for Brussels, Flemish and international residents to and from our capital".
“With more than 19 million passengers in 2022, Brussels Airport is the gateway to Brussels for many visitors,” De Smet said, as well as it being “an economically important area that provides jobs for many Brussels residents”.
This new 400-metre section starting from Avenue du Bourget in Evere is only a small part of the 12km extension of the tram line from Bourget to Brussels Airport, but an important step forward in the capital’s ambitious inter-regional project.
Once the full route is completed, the airport tram, managed by Brussels intercommunal transport company Stib, will be another way of getting from the airport to Brussels. Current options include Stib bus 12, the De Lijn bus lines departing from Brussels-North station and the train from central Brussels or the EU quarter.
The authorities have “no doubt” that the tram will become the "missing link", De Smet said. “Thanks to its six new stops and residential and activity areas between the capital and the airport, the airport tam will appeal to many people.
“This beautiful project is a real win-win for Flanders and Brussels in terms of mobility, quality of public space and employment.”