Unlocking the potential of a European transport and logistics hub

Macquarie supported Brussels Airport over 15 years to strengthen its contribution to the Belgian economy.

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Sector Infrastructure
Sub-sector Transport
Location Belgium


In 2004, Macquarie Asset Management was selected by the Belgian Government to partner in the ownership and long-term development of Brussels Airport.

Macquarie saw an opportunity to transform the airport’s capacity, service and sustainability to create long-term value for Belgium – overseeing more than €1 billion of capital investment over 15 years to transform the passenger experience and facilitate growth.


Capital investment during Macquarie’s tenure was centred around a major terminal re-configuration and upgrades to increase capacity.

Passenger experience was also enhanced with the delivery of improvements to the airport’s retail layout and quality, reduced connection times and the introduction of state-of-the-art passenger processing facilities, including Europe’s largest security screening hall. In addition, Brussels Airport developed a new airport business district and oversaw the delivery of world-class cargo facilities to further its position as a logistics hub.

Macquarie’s long-sighted investment strategy ensured that initiatives to reduce the airport’s environmental impact were embedded in building and operation design. This included the installation of solar panels on rooftops and around the airport’s perimeter, which enabled Brussels Airport to generate 2,792 MWh of green energy to power its operations.1

Alongside the capital investment programme, flight route development was a key focus. Partnering with existing and new airlines, Brussels Airport was able to offer travellers 30 per cent more destinations served by nearly 80 carriers.2


These initiatives helped cement the airport’s importance to the Belgian economy. 

During Macquarie’s investment, the airport managed to grow passenger numbers by more than 60 per cent2 whilst significantly reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. These efforts were recognised when the airport achieved the highest possible Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate – Neutrality – from Airports Council International in 2018.3

At the time of Macquarie’s divestment, Brussels Airport contributed more than €3.2 billion in added economic value each year.4 The airport was one of the largest sources of employment in the country – with almost 20,000 people employed on site and a further 50,000 jobs generated elsewhere.4

€1 billion of investment delivered

30 per cent expansion of route network

60 per cent increase in passenger numbers

  1. Brussels Airport Environmental Report, 2018
  2. Brussels Airport Traffic Report 2004, 2018
  3. Airports Council International, 2018
  4. Brussels Airport modelling
  5. Photo ©️ Brussels Airport