Will there be a new theme park next to Durn Airport? If it depends on the Flemish government, yes.
This relates to the site on the border with Mortsel, south of the airport, right next to the site where the new De Lijn warehouse will be built in 2024. De Lijn’s environmental permit application already clearly indicates the arrival of the theme park.
This area was initially intended for the SME area, although this plan was abandoned as it would cause a lot of traffic on Krijgsbaan. This is why the plot is divided into space for De Lijn’s new warehouse, an area for SMEs and an area for daytime entertainment.
Before the end of this year, Flanders will be looking for interested parties to offer entertainment during the day at this location, which could also be an amusement park. There must be an objective link to Durn Airport.
The Flemish Ministry of Mobility, Lydia Peters (Open Vld) has confirmed that Jacques Schweben, Bobbien’s son, has already shown an interest in developing a theme park around flying. It was also confirmed at the airport itself that some of the parties involved, including Schweben, visited before the Corona crisis to find out the possibilities.
Schoepen has always dreamed of a theme park entirely dedicated to aviation, with two Boeing 747s in the middle (60m wide, over 19m high and 70m long). One of them will be created as a hotel. It should become an indoor flying paradise, according to the site, with attractions for young and old. Rotors, flight simulators, monorail, airship, hot air balloon and indoor skydiving tunnel. Plans also include a Sky Tower With a height of 45 meters, it will become an aviation educational center for adults and young people from the age of 12 years.
It was already close in 2017, when there were negotiations with Moles holiday park Sunparks Kempense Meren. No agreement was reached, and the search continued.
Schoepen has now set his eye on the site adjacent to Deurne Airport, among other things. “Informal talks have already taken place, but nothing has been finalized yet,” he says. “Deurne would be a very nice site. I also prefer Antwerp, but there are also other slopes, such as Koksijde and Liège. ”
“Too crazy for words”
The opposition party Gruen thinks the theme park is “too crazy for words”. Green Council member Ilse van Dienderen: “We fear excess traffic on the R11, which is already saturated. Groen wants a comprehensive discussion about the airport and wants to work with the neighborhood to discuss an alternative use of the site.”
“What do we want on 220 hectares? There is as much as possible: the park, the sports, the water … We want to think about this with the neighborhood and come up with feasible proposals. Now that the “stoemels” have built a theme park, put a mortgage on other creative ideas for this place.”