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Brussels Airport - Belgium
The flat land where Brussels Airport is situated today was first utilized for aviation purposes by the Germans during World War I. They set up small sheds in this area in 1918 as a beginning to a possible air field. The Belgian air force looked to this same piece of land in 1939, but the Germans seized it once more and built a completely new airport. Fourteen air raids were made here during the course of the war, including one on April 10, 1944 which caused extensive damage and killed 17 people. At the close of the war, the Belgian Civil Aeronautics Department took over and began reconstructing what remained. Melsbroek, a new terminal building, was opened in December of 1948. Ten years later, a greater part of the airport was completed. Between 1974 and 1976 the main terminal building was extended once more. Further extensions on the terminal to aid in the separation of European and international traveler flows and to cope with new regulations began in 1993.
Brussels Airport handled over 8 million passengers last year, and this number is expected to rise. There are currently two runways, one used exclusively for landings, the other for take-offs. Six monitoring stations have been set up around the airport in order to deal with serious noise problems. Brussels is also the headquarters for Sabena World Airlines which operates around 400 flights a day to more than 75 major European cities. A new 14,000 sq meter shopping center should be completed in the next few years.