Military history of Sint Truiden Airbase
During WW II Sint-Truiden airfield was successively used by the German and Allied forces as an operational air base. At the end of the war, Belgian military worked hard to get the badly damaged airbase of Brustem back to operational readiness.
As from 1947 the Advanced Flying Training on T6 Harvard was implemented in Brustem
Shortly afterwards the Operational Training Unit rejoined temporary as well Sint Truiden. This unit flew the Spifire 9 & 11
As from 1953 flying training moved to Kamina (Zaire, former Belgian Congo) and Brustem became again an operational Airbase. The 13th Day and Night fighter Wing.
Due to troubles in Africa, flying training has to return to Belgium. Sint Truiden regained his training role. CM170 Fouga Magister, T33 en Alphajet flew her till 1996.
What became the airbase after it's closure?
Some 2 years after it's closure, first initiatives were raised to create a regional airport. Different instances & individuals tried, with varying degrees of success, to build further on this concept.
LRM bought, late 2011, the former military airstrip of Brustem from Belgian Defense and kept the operating contract with LRA.
Since March 25, 2014 LRM and JK Invest each own 50% of the shares of Limburg Regional Airport bvba (LRA). LRA itself is responsible for the operation of the airport.
In addition since 2003, LRM is also a stakeholder of Brustem Industrial Park SA (BIP NV). Most business plots have been sold, only one area of 8 hectares remains available. These plots are intended specifically for aviation-related businesses. When official plans enter into force, direct access to the runway will be available.
LRM as the owner of the runway is thus involved in both the operation of the runway and in the development of aviation-related business park.
The private partner of LRM in this deal is JK Invest. They are already active in the aviation sector and are responsible for the operational exploitation of the airport.
To start, JK Invest and LRM want to maintain flight operations on a level “as is” from current LRA.
The aim is to move the sheltering of aircraft and associated services in the coming year(s) to the aviation-related commercial park of BIP SA. Therefore JK Invest and LRM are in consultation with the City of Sint-Truiden and the Province of Limburg.
All the partners are in favor of the value of this unique aviation infrastructure in it’s new vision, including the ability to redirect the site including the operation of drones.