Thursday, March 31, 2016

BRU makes progress toward restart of passenger flights

Updated at 6;30 a.m., PDT

Brussels Zaventem airport (BRU) has received the go-ahead from fire services and the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) for a partial restart of passenger flights at the airport.

The airport made the announcement at approximately 3:45 p.m., Brussels time on Friday but noted that authorities have yet to make a formal decision on the restart date.

Over the past several Brussels Airport Company, public fire services, the BCAA, federal police and defense officials have thoroughly evaluated Tuesday's large-scale trial run of temporary facilities. Brussels Airport Company has been actively handling the action items of this evaluation for which last night the public fire services and BCAA gave their approval for a restart.

"The airport is thus technically ready for a restart of passenger flights in the temporary infrastructure foreseen for check-in," airport officials said in a news release, noting that the provisional infrastructure "[W]ould allow the airport to receive 800 departing passengers per hour, or 2.5 million departing passengers a year [or] about 20% of the normal capacity at Brussels Airport."

Arriving passengers will still go through the usual baggage reclaim and arrivals in the terminal, as that area was only slightly damaged and has since been restored for use.

The final step for the restart is the formal political approval.

Airport officials began erecting temporary constructions on March 24 and hundreds of airport employees returned to the airport on Tuesday to take part in a large-scale test of the temporary facilities. The airport also designed additional security measures that will be implemented at all Belgian airports on the orders of the government.

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