Liege Airport has earmarked another 28 hectares of land, ready for building and intended for air cargo supported activities. The new site, Flexport City, is part of a master plan to support the further development of the airport.
The new area is located north of the runway system. Together with the passenger-dedicated ‘Airport City’ south of the airport, it is part of a larger project totalling some 470 hectares (386 net
usage), to be developed by 2031. The driving force is the ‘Société Wallonne des Aéroports’ (SOWAER), an agency within the regional Walloon government created especially for the development of the
airports (Charleroi and Liege) in the south of Belgium.
From the foundation of present-day Belgium in 1830 through the 1960s, this region was the industrial backbone of Wallonia and of Belgium as a whole. The decline of both the coal mining and the steel industry, have forced local politicians to convert the economy to a service-driven model. The airports were given a major role in this strategy, named ‘Marshall Plan 4.0’.
Land drives growth
Carlo di Antonio, the Walloon minister for both airports and environment, is convinced that the plan will generate up to 9,500 direct and indirect jobs over the years to come. He recalled the efforts the Walloon government has taken to keep noise nuisance for the residents in the immediate vicinity of the airport as low as possible. “This too is an enabler for growth, contrary to Brussels Airport, which finds itself in a constant struggle with its resident neighbours,” he states.
Flexport City offers 28 hectares, split into plots of 2.5 to 3 hectares. Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport, said that every major cargo-dedicated regional airport in the world owes its growth to the arrival of logistic, transport and service companies. “We too, need land to enable us to consolidate our growth.”