Route 62 currently terminates at the regional boundary near Eurocontrol, about 6 km short of the airport.

BELGIUM: The long-planned extension of the capital’s tram network to Brussels National Airport is set to open in 2026, under an agreement between public transport operator STIB and the Vlaanderen regional government’s major projects organisation De Werkvennootschap.

The accord clears the way for construction of a 6 km extension of STIB route 62, which currently runs from Cimitière de Jette in the northwest to terminate at the Eurocontrol offices, close to the boundary between the National Capital Region and Vlaanderen, where the airport is located northeast of Zaventem village.

As the extension runs outside the capital, a provisional agreement had been reached in 2018 that the Vlaanderen government would be responsible for financing and construction, but the line would be operated by STIB as an integral part of its network.

As with the 3 km extension of route 62 from Da Vinci to Eurocontrol which opened in 2019, the prolongation to the airport will largely run in the central reservation of Boulevard Leopold III. There will be four intermediate stops serving industrial developments before the line passes under R0 orbital ring motorway and three stops beyond to serve the airport’s hotels and technical zone. A segregated cycleway is to be built alongside the line as part of the project.

Construction is expected to begin in 2023 for opening three years later. According to STIB, journey time between Brussels Nord station and the airport would be around 30 min.

‘Through the Luchthaventram, we are looking not only to improve accessibility by public transport but also by bicycle’, De Werkvennootschap spokesperson Marijn Struyf told local media when the agreement was announced on January 20. ‘Companies in the airport area are currently focused on access by car, but with this project we are aiming to provide a multimodal approach.’