How it all started
The first aviation activities in Gosselies date back to 1919. Back then, King Albert I opened the first flight school in Belgium on the airfield in Gosselies, at the “Mont des Bergers”, the highest point in the region around Gosselies. The following year, the SEGA (Société Générale d’Aéronautique) launched its airplane maintenance activities. The business basically involved maintenance and repair for the flying machines used by the many flying clubs in the region. Four hundred military and civilian pilots planning to fly for the military were trained at the flight school. In 1931, the articles of association of Avions Fairey S.A. were signed. This company would go on to put Gosselies right at the heart of the Belgian aviation industry.
After the Second World War, Gosselies was listed in the category of public aerodromes, and was managed by the Belgian Airways Authority, (the Régie des voies aériennes or RVA). In 1954, the Société Anonyme Belge de Construction Aéronautique (S.A.B.C.A), based in Haren, teamed up with Fairey to set up a second plant at Gosselies. Over time, other companies came to the site and in the 1970s, Liège and Charleroi had daily flights to London Heathrow. This experiment was soon abandoned after disappointing results. The Gosselies aerodrome had virtually no passenger traffic and was mainly used for private flights, training flights and sometimes a few charter flights to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and Algeria. In 1978, the SONACA (Société Nationale de Construction Aéronautique) was set up to take over Fairey.
It was on 9 July 1991 that Brussels South Charleroi Airport S.A. (BSCA) was created. This company played a direct part in the transfer of the management and operation of regional airports from the government to the regional authorities on 1 January 1992.
The Walloon Region then decided to grant the management of its two main airports – Charleroi and Liège – to private companies subject to laws governing commercial companies. BSCA was born, with its majority shareholder being the Sambrinvest holding company.
In 1992 and 1993, a number of management procedures were gradually introduced, which started to come into effect in 1995 and in 1996.
1 May 1997
Ryanair launched its Brussels South Charleroi – Dublin route, giving the new company real credibility. It was an immediate success! The airport recorded 200,000 passengers a year.
26 April 2001
Brussels South Charleroi Airport became the first continental base for Ryanair.
BSCA recorded 1,271,279 passengers.
BSCA recorded 1,803,587 passengers.
15 July 2004
Wizz Air, a Hungarian low-cost airline, launched flights to Warsaw and Budapest.
On 20 December, BSCA recorded its 2 millionth passenger.
BSCA recorded 1,873,349 passengers.
Traffic at BSCA represented 15% of Zaventem’s traffic, compared with 1% in 2000.
Arrival of Private Wings and launch of the route to Ingolstadt on 1 November 2007.
The former airport terminal could no longer respond to the increase in passenger numbers.
This year saw the installation of the Cat III ILS. This "Instrument Landing System" made aviation operations possible in very poor visibility. In other words, planes could now take off and land despite unfavourable weather conditions.
Arrival of the private shareholder - Belgian Airport.
We reached 6,500,000 passengers in 2012.
6,800,000 passengers passed through the airport in 2013.
Arrival of PEGASUS on 30 March 2014.