- The commune of Zaventem, located 12 km (8 mi.) northeast of Brussels in the province of Flemish Brabant, is the site of Brussels National Airport (Bruxelles National, Brussel Nationaal). The earliest facility was built in 1944 on the side of the airfield located in the commune of Melsbroek. On the occasion of the World's Fair of 1958, a terminal was opened in May opposite Melsbroek in Zaven-tem. A new terminal, adjacent to the 1958 building, was opened officially on 14 December 1994 and a new "A" pier became operational on 16 May 2002. Located on 1,245 ha (3,113 acres) of land, the airport boasts three runways. A spate of armed robberies in 2001 led to a dozen European air carriers refusing to carry high-value cargo through the airport. The airport counted approximately 22 million arriving and departing passengers in 2000, 99.9 percent of them international travelers, and numbers are forecast to grow at an annual rate of 3.9 percent to reach 31 million in 2010. In 2003, the major passenger airline serving Brussels was Virgin Express.See also Evere.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.