Guest blogger: Mike Pearce
A great, safe, free, easily accessible and child-friendly location from which to spot planes landing and taking off at Brussels Airport is along the Zeven Tommen in Zaventem.
In the last year this site has gained in popularity among plane spotters and plane photographers, and on fine weekend afternoons it can be quite busy. In the recent gorgeous weather I have seen families picnicking and one family even had an outdoor BBQ going!
The site gives particularly good views of aircraft landing at the end of runway 02. On a good day they can be only a few meters above your head as they throttle back to touch down just beyond the airport perimeter fence. You might be tempted to involuntarily duck your head! On bad weather days the excitement doubles as you can see the aircraft seemingly battling the elements to stay on course.
Drive or cycle along Zeven Tommen from Hoogstraat and you will come across a grassy knoll alongside the railway line. There’s adequate space to park your car or bike here. From here you can also walk a bit further along Zeven Tommen, cross the railway bridge and double back towards the perimeter of the airport. Here is another grassy field where your kids can play as the jets screech overhead. Both sites have the extra advantage for kids in that a couple of railway lines run nearby so there’s always something to see.
Mike Pearce has been keen on planes since growing up close to Heathrow Airport in the days when Concorde was being trialled. “Every time she flew over, our school would shake and in the evening we would hear news reports of American complaints about Concorde’s noise. We would remark how jealous the Americans must be of her. She was a triumph of engineering and a milestone in aviation history.” A freelance software developer, he runs the Asian supermarket in Stationsstraat 85, Zaventem with his wife Anna.