Saturday, March 26, 2016

Passenger flights at Brussels Airport grounded through Monday

Passenger flights at Brussels Airport (BRU) will not resume before Tuesday, March 29, according to a communiqué issued by the airport on Saturday, March 26.

“More than four days after the attacks at Brussels Airport, the inquiries of the judicial investigation in the terminal of Brussels Airport are completed,” BRU officials said in the news release. “Friday afternoon, Brussels Airport Company received permission to inspect the building with a small group of engineers to assess the damage.”

A small team of engineers and technicians from the airport’s operator, Brussels Airport Company, will be given access to the terminal building where two terrorist bombs exploded on March 22. The team will examine the stability of the building, check the functioning of the information technology systems, assess the material damage and determine the process to renovate the terminal.

Simultaneously, airport officials are taking the next steps necessary for the partial resumption of passenger flights. Those include implementing “[N]ew security measures which the federal government imposes on Belgian airports,” according to the news release. While the release did not provide details about what those new security measures would be, immediately after Tuesday's attacks there was criticism that security at the airport was light.

Brussels Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, handling 23.5 million passengers and 489,000 tons of freight annually. Brussels Airport links the European capital with 226 destinations worldwide that are served by 77 different airlines. Brussels Airport is the second most important center of economic growth in Belgium, providing direct and indirect employment for 60,000 people, according to airport officials.

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