Flemish Federation « “For the improvement of the environment” (Bond Beter Leefmilieu) and other organizations are calling on the authorities to investigate the health risks to people living near the airport.
According to the investigation, the damage to health caused by noise during the flight was underestimated. The study shows that health care costs for local residents will reach more than 1 billion euros per year.
According to a community report, 220,000 people living in the vicinity of the airport suffer from aircraft noise, and about 109,000 have disturbing sleep. Another 51,000 people are at risk of developing hypertension, and 2,000 may develop various heart diseases.
Scientists explain: our body reacts independently to noise, because we subconsciously associate noise with danger. The body goes into a protective mode and spends all resources on this protection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified the enormous damage that can be done to the health of people living near operating airports. Cardiologists note that repeated exposure to night noise disrupts the basic functions of sleep, which leads to a decrease in immunity against cancer and infections, gradual physical exhaustion, memory functions and mental health.
Calculations show: one night flight causes damage to health by an average of 36,000 euros, and this does not include the cost of hospitalization and medicines.
Brussels airport, in turn, demonstrates attempts to take care of the health of people living nearby, but they are expressed only in investments in solar panels and electrification of land transport. These initiatives are important for the environment, but do not help to reduce the noise generated by aircraft.
According to the data, between 2016 and 2019, the airport operator's profit reached 93 million euros per year. True, not all of it goes to Brussels Airport, 75% of which belongs to foreign investment funds and pension funds.