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Brussels South Charleroi Airport

Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA), also unofficially called Brussels-Charleroi Airport, Charleroi Airport or rarely Gosselies Airport, (IATA: CRL, ICAO: EBCI) is an international airport, located in Gosselies, a part of the city of Charleroi in Wallonia (southern Belgium). The airport is 4 nautical miles (7.4 km; 4.6 mi) north[2] of Charleroi and 46 km (29 mi) south of central Brussels. In terms of passengers and aircraft movements, it is the second busiest airport in Belgium having served 7,303,720 passengers in 2016 (75,038 movements). It is also a busy general aviation airfield, being home to 3 flying schools.

Brussels South Charleroi Airport

Aéroport de Charleroi Bruxelles Sud
Aeroport de Charleroi Bruxelles Sud.jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of Wallonia
OperatorSociété Wallonne des Aéroports
ServesCharleroi and Brussels area, Belgium
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL614 ft / 187 m
Coordinates50°27′36″N 004°27′10″E / 50.46000°N 4.45278°E / 50.46000; 4.45278Coordinates: 50°27′36″N 004°27′10″E / 50.46000°N 4.45278°E / 50.46000; 4.45278
CRL is located in Belgium
Brussels South Charleroi Airport in Belgium
Direction Length Surface
m ft
06/24 2,550 8,366 Asphalt
Statistics (2018)
Change 17-18Increase4%

The Aéropole, one of the Science Parks of Wallonia, is located near the airport.


Early yearsEdit

The first aeronautical activities in Gosselies date back to 1919 as a flying school, then aeronautical maintenance activities the following year. The British aircraft manufacturer Fairey Aviation settled a subsidiary Avions Fairey on the site (then known as Mont des Bergers) in 1931.

During World War II, the site was arranged as an Advanced Landing Ground (A-87) for the allied air forces, from 14 September 1944 until 10 August 1945.

Gosselies airfield became a public aerodrome after World War II, but the main activities of the site remained aeronautical constructions (installation of SABCA in 1954, then SONACA in 1978, taking the place of Fairey).

In the 1970s, the Belgian national airline Sabena launched a LiègeCharleroi–London service, but this was soon dropped because of poor results. Gosselies was left with almost no passenger traffic, the airport being mainly used for private or pleasure flights, training flights and occasional charters to leisure destinations around the Mediterranean Sea or to Algeria.

Development since the 1990sEdit

Operations at Brussels South Charleroi grew in the 1990s, with a new commercial management structure (BSCA – Brussels South Charleroi Airport) and the arrival of Irish low-cost airline Ryanair in 1997, which opened its first continental base at Charleroi a few years later.[3]

Although criticised for the subsidies paid by the Walloon government to help its installation, Ryanair opened new routes from Brussels South Charleroi (they also closed two destinations: London–Stansted and Liverpool, although Stansted was re-introduced in June 2007 before being suspended again).[3] Other low-cost carriers later joined Ryanair in Brussels South Charleroi, such as Wizz Air. The Polish airline Air Polonia operated services from here to Warsaw and Katowice before going bankrupt in August 2004.

In September 2006 it was announced that Moroccan low-cost airline Jet4you would launch three weekly flights to Casablanca (on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) starting 1 November 2006, in code-share cooperation with Belgian airline Jetairfly.[4]

A new terminal opened in January 2008. It has a capacity of up to 5 million passengers a year, which means that it has reached its maximum capacity in 2010 (5,195,372 passengers).[citation needed]

The European Commission objected to assistance the airport offered to Ryanair, since the airport is owned by the Wallonia regional government and thus the discounts and other benefits could be considered state aid.[5] However, the Court of First Instance (a European Union court) decided on 17 December 2008 that the Commission's decision finding that illegal aid had been granted to Ryanair should be annulled and quashed as being erroneous in law. However, in March 2012, the Commission reopened the case in order to take this judgement into account.[6]

In January 2017, a second terminal (Terminal 2) was opened in order to relieve the T1 during rush hours and to be able to accommodate 10 000 000 passengers/year in the future.[citation needed]

Airlines and destinationsEdit

The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights at Brussels South Charleroi Airport:[7]

Air Algerie Algiers
Air Belgium Fort-de-France, Pointe-à-Pitre
Air Corsica Seasonal: Ajaccio, Bastia, Calvi
Belavia Minsk
Lauda Vienna
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul–Sabiha Gökçen
Ryanair Agadir, Alicante, Ancona, Athens, Banja Luka,[8] Barcelona, Bari, Bergamo, Béziers, Biarritz, Bologna, Bordeaux, Bratislava, Brindisi, Bucharest, Budapest, Cagliari, Carcassonne, Comiso, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Faro, Fes, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria (ends 6 January 2020),[9] Kraków, Lamezia Terme, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Madrid, Málaga, Manchester, Marrakesh, Marseille, Nador, Naples, Nîmes, Oujda, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Perpignan, Pescara, Pisa, Porto, Prague, Podgorica, Rabat, Riga, Rome–Ciampino, Santander, Seville, Sofia, Stockholm–Skavsta, Tangier, Tel Aviv, Tenerife–South, Thessaloniki, Toulouse, Treviso, Turin, Valencia, Vilnius, Warsaw–Modlin, Wrocław, Zaragoza
Seasonal: Alghero, Almería, Bergerac, Chania, Corfu, Figari, Girona, Glasgow,[10][11] Ibiza, La Rochelle, Perugia, Pula, Reus, Rhodes, Rijeka, Rodez, Zadar
TUI fly Belgium Algiers, Alicante, Béjaïa, Casablanca, Constantine, Fes, Gran Canaria, Hurghada, Málaga, Murcia–Corvera, Nador, Oran, Oujda, Ouarzazate, Rabat, Sharm El Sheikh, Tangier, Tenerife–South, Tlemcen, Toulon, Tunis
Seasonal: Al Hoceima, Antalya, Djerba, Enfidha, Essaouira, Heraklion, Palma de Mallorca, Rhodes
Wizz Air Bucharest, Budapest, Chișinău,[12] Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iași, Kutaisi,[13] Ljubljana,[14] Sibiu, Skopje, Sofia, Timișoara, Warsaw–Chopin


Charleroi Airport Passenger Totals 2001–2018 (millions)
Updated: 6 February 2019.
Terminal interior
Aerial view
Passengers per year
Year Passengers Evolution
2001 773,431
2002 1,271,979  64.45%
2003 1,803,587  41.19%
2004 2,034,797  12.81%
2005 1,873,349  8.61%
2006 2,166,360  15.64%
2007 2,458,255  13.47%
2008 2,957,026  20.28%
2009 3,937,187  33.14%
2010 5,195,372  31.96%
2011 5,901,007  15.18%
2012 6,516,427  10.43%
2013 6,786,979  4.15%
2014 6,439,957  5.1%
2015 6,956,302  8.01%
2016 7,303,720  4.99%
2017 7,698,767  5.41%
2018 8,029,680  4.29%[15]
Busiest Routes from Charleroi Airport (2016)
Rank Airport Passengers 2016
1   Hungary, Budapest Airport 313,983
2   Italy, Bergamo Airport 279,694
3   Romania, Bucharest Airport 260,009
4   Spain, Madrid Airport 251,526
5   Denmark, Copenhagen Airport 200,486

Ground transportationEdit


There are several shuttles to different cities in the neighbouring countries (Luxembourg, Metz, Thionville, Lille) plus a regular coach service that runs from the airport to Brussels-South railway station. Also, a special bus (Airport Express – A) operates from the airport to Charleroi-South railway station. A combined bus and train ticket to any other Belgian railway station can be bought in the terminal.


The airport is accessible by the highway from Brussels, Liège or Lille.

Accidents and incidentsEdit

  • On 8 April 2011, a Dutch F-16 had to make an emergency landing because of a technical failure of one of its sets of landing gear. The plane landed on its belly. The pilot did not suffer any injuries.[16]
  • On 9 February 2013, a small Cessna plane crashed near the runway after suffering technical problems during take-off, killing all 5 people on board. The airport was closed for about six hours before resuming services.[17][18]

See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. ^
  2. ^ AIP for EBCI – Brussels South Charleroi Airport from Skeyes
  3. ^ a b "Ryanair ready to take advantage of Charleroi's new terminal -". 30 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Air Arabia Maroc launches with six destinations from Casablanca starting with Stansted -". 8 May 2009.
  5. ^ "BBC NEWS - Business - Ryanair slates Charleroi ruling".
  6. ^ "European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigations in air transport sector in Belgium, France and Germany".
  7. ^ - Timetable retrieved May 2016
  8. ^ "First Flights From Bosnia & Herzegovina - Ryanair's Corporate Website".
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Official Ryanair website - Book direct for the lowest fares -". Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Ryanair to reverse Glasgow route cuts". Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Liu, Jim. "Wizz Air boosts Kutaisi network from Sep 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Wizz Air maintains flights between Brussels South Charleroi and Ljubljana this winter". 13 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Statistics".
  16. ^ "Accident d'un F16 à Charleroi: réouverture de l'aéroport".
  17. ^ "Belgian airport reopens after plane crash kills family". Reuters.
  18. ^ "Belgium plane crash closes Charleroi airport". BBC News.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Brussels South Charleroi Airport at Wikimedia Commons