The main international airport of Belgium is Brussels Zaventem. In 2017, over 24 million passengers arrived or departed at Brussels Airport. It serves as the home base for Brussels Airlines and Tuifly Belgium.
The origins of Brussels Zaventem date back to 1940, when the German occupying force claimed 600 ha of agricultural fields reserved as a back-up airfield. There the Luftwaffe constructed 3 runways. When the old civilian airport in Haren became too small, the Belgian authorities decided to use the aerodrome at Melsbroek for the new national airport. The civil aerodrome of Melsbroek was officially opened in 1948.