Thursday, April 28, 2016

New flight schedule at Brussels airport

Effective Monday, May 2, Brussels’ Zanventem Airport (BRU) will adjusted the schedule for departing flights to better accommodate the number of departing passengers, which is growing more quickly than anticipated.

The airport, which was damaged by two terrorist bombs in March, symbolically restarted operations on April 3 and resumed partial operations shortly thereafter using temporary facilities constructed after the attack. Because of the limitations of those facilities, airport officials estimated the facility could accommodate up to 18,000 departing passengers per day, presuming that they were spread evenly over the 18 hours of the day that are available for flight operations.

Since the facility resumed operations, passengers have returned more quickly than anticipated and the operational capacity is being reached sooner than expected, airport officials said in a statement announcing the schedule revision.

Under the airport's current temporary operating schedule, the number of departing flights is limited to 22 per hour, far fewer than during peak hours before the attack. By spreading out the number of flights, the airport will be able to maintain as many flights as possible while staying within the temporary capacity limits.

As a result, some flight times will be moved up while others may be delayed to ensure a smooth flow of passengers through the temporary departure facilities. Brussels Airport advises passengers to check the exact time of their flights' departures on their airlines' websites.

The temporary departure facilities, which were constructed following the attack, lead to the screening platform in the Connector Building. From there, passengers will follow normal routing. Arriving passengers follow the usual routing, which was not damaged by the blasts.

In the meantime, Brussels Airport is starting the final phase of the technical preparations for a partial reopening of the departure lounge.

"The technical repair work is progressing smoothly and will be completed shortly," airport officials said, though they did not offer a specific date for reopening. "After that, various certificates and approvals must be issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the federal police and the fire service. The airport will also implement the security measures in the departure lounge that have been ordered by the federal government."

Brussels Airport is country’s the second largest economic generator, providing 20,000 jobs as well as connections to the rest of the world that allow Belgian companies to develop and grow. Brussels Airport links the European capital with 226 destinations worldwide that are served by 77 different airlines, based upon 2015 figures.

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