Tuesday, 6 January 2009

CHARLEROI AIRPORT - Aéroport de Charleroi Bruxelles - Sud !

Welcome to Brussels South Charleroi Airport.

That is what you read when you arrive for the first time in this small airport located 60km far away from Brussels. This distance can be a small one if we think of big capitals (London, Paris, etc). But in Belgium 60km is a big deal. Actually, if you drive double that distance, you will probably have crossed the whole country.

Being Brussels the Capital of the European Union, you would expect it to have superb connections to its airports. Well, let's be clear. Connections with public transport to the ZAVENTEM Airport are OK; however, connections to Charleroi Airport could not be worse. Only one bus every 45 MINUTES!!!!!.

Despite of the outrageous trip fare (13 euro), the buses sometimes are so full of people that you have to wait the next one, or take a taxi to Charleroi Airport (150 euro approx.) since you have no other choice to get there.

Last month, a friend booked a flight to arrive in Charleroi. His flight was scheduled early in the morning (something like 6:30 am). When the plane arrived to the sky of Belgium, everything looked grey. Yes, grey because of the intense fog that covered the country those days.

The thing is that The Brussels South Airport is not equipped with special anti-fog RADAR systems. In other words. When the weather is foggy, bye bye Charleroi Airport. It is in fact unusable under those weather conditions.

The plane of my friend remained in the sky of Charleroi turning around during almost two hours, waiting for the sky to clear up. Since they were running out of fuel, they were forced to land in the Liege Airport (I call it aerodrome). After that, a Bus took one hour and a half to go there and pick everybody up and bring them to ....Charleroi!!!!!!

I think my friend lost one whole day....he woke up 4:30am to arrive in Brussels at 5:30pm. That was indeed a long day for him.


  1. Very interesting... thanks for this information! I suport your cause!

    PD- fes-te seguidor meu per fa i deixa de fer el "SEr" jajajaj!

  2. Some comments for you :

    New radar system for fog landing will be ready in less than 2 months.

    From the airport, you take a bus to charleroi train station and then a train to anywhere in belgium, easy and cheap

    Liège airport is not quite a small airport, it's the 8th biggest cargo airport in Europe, in fast it's more important than charleroi ;)

  3. Thanks a lot for the info Jrenier. I will sleep better knowing the fog might nor tuin my flights!!!.

    Have you ever tried taking the bus+train in Charleroi? How was your experience?

    I made a mistake in my post, I ment Ostende, instead of Liege. Although the plane of my friend tried to land in Liege, it couldn't either because of the fog, so it ended up landing in Ostende. Sorry for the confussion.

    Thanks a lot for your comment.

  4. Ostend is a smaller airport indeed. It's strange that you landed there because 95% of the time, Liège is the diversion airport for Charleroi.
    It will be soon over, as Charleroi is getting a new radar ;)

    About the bus to charleroi train station, check this :

    It works quite well. From that train station, you can reach easily all big cities in Belgium, Brussels, Antwerp, Liège or even Lille in France. I use all the time this.

  5. Hallo. I ordered a taxis vert on Oct.7, 3.30 a.m, to the far airport from the centrum. The driver took 120 EUR, no ticket, of course, and left me at a closed terminal, five km away. I was SHOCKED. Brussels, the heart of Europe. Be very careful!