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.

Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, 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 juillet 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 mei 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.
We recorded 800,000 passengers in 2001. The airport's reputation was established and
the low-cost phenomenon began to grab Belgium's attention!

2002

BSCA recorded 1,271,279 passengers.

2003

BSCA recorded 1,803,587 passengers.

15 juli 2004

Wizz Air, a Hungarian low-cost airline, launched flights to Warsaw and Budapest.

2004

On 20 December, BSCA recorded its 2 millionth passenger.

2004 was a record year, with 2,034,797 passengers recorded.

2005

BSCA recorded 1,873,349 passengers.

The increase in the number of passengers was so dramatic that the current terminal was soon too small to cope with all the passengers. Construction work on a new terminal began.

2006

Traffic at BSCA represented 15% of Zaventem’s traffic, compared with 1% in 2000.

The number of passengers reached 2,166,915 in 2006.

Jet4you arrived at Charleroi on 1 November and launched a route to Casablanca.

2007

Arrival of Private Wings and launch of the route to Ingolstadt on 1 November 2007.

2008

The former airport terminal could no longer respond to the increase in passenger numbers.

The new terminal, with capacity for 3 million passengers, was officially opened by His Majesty Prince Philippe on 28 January.

2009

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 Jetairfly and Air Arabia Maroc. Our range of destinations is doubled.

In October 2009, passenger numbers broke a new record, this time reaching 3 million.

2011

Arrival of the private shareholder - Belgian Airport.

2012

We reached 6,500,000 passengers in 2012.

2013

6,800,000 passengers passed through the airport in 2013.

2014

Arrival of PEGASUS on 30 March 2014.

Increase in the number of destinations and extension towards South East Asia via the SAW hub.

Arrival of Thomas Cook on the airport tarmac on 28 June 2014.