Brussels Airport celebrates 60th anniversary

60 years ago to this day, Belgium inaugurated its first airport in Zaventem tailored specifically to the needs of commercial aviation. The country thus had a modern airport providing quality infrastructure for airlines and passengers, and able to connect Belgium to the rest of the world. The airport was already innovating in terms of multimodality, being the first airport in the world to have its own railway station directly connected to the terminal.

The Brussels World Fair that Belgium hosted that year was the trigger. The airport today is totally different from that of 1958 following its many infrastructure developments (new piers, new terminal, etc.), as well as the strong growth of passenger and cargo traffic. The new buildings meet the ever-changing needs of passengers, airlines and the many partners of Brussels Airport. These various players have therefore actively participated in the expansion of the airport. It is only natural that they should also be there to celebrate this anniversary.

‘In its 60 years of existence, Brussels Airport has become a major economic player in our country and represents tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs. With nearly 25 million passengers last year, it undoubtedly contributes to Brussels being the centre of Europe. Its development must be part of a model of integrating environmental concerns into economic development, as in all sectors of activity’, says François Bellot, Federal Minister of Transport. ‘In addition, the intermodal platform available to the airport, combining air, rail and road transport, is able to meet the growing mobility needs of companies and their employees. This is a good example to follow, which also contributes to the economic development of its environment.’

François Bellot, Federal Minister of Transport together with Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport

‘Brussels Airport is above all a big family and it is with the family that we want to celebrate our anniversary’’, explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport. ‘With passengers, airlines, all our staff and partners, and also the whole of Belgium because most Belgians have memories, a link, an anecdote related to their airport. This anniversary gives us the opportunity to look back on the recent history of our country and also to project ourselves into the future and better understand all that Brussels Airport can bring to Belgium in the decades to come.’

A photo retrospective in Connector will allow passengers to relive the great moments that have marked the past six decades, such as the opening of the cargo area in 1979, the inauguration of Pier A in 2002 and the opening of Connector in 2015. The photos show our airport as the setting for memorable moments in the history of Belgium and Europe.

From September, our country will take pride of place thanks to the collaboration of Belgian iconic personalities. All these events and initiatives will plunge us into a festive and retro atmosphere around the “60 Years” of Brussels Airport.