Brussels Airport to remain closed Wednesday; may be much longer

The CEO of Brussels Zaventem airport (BRU) says it will be months before Brussels airport is able to reopen fully.

CEO Arnaud Feist made the comment as staff returned to the site a week after it was targeted by Islamist bombers. Shortly thereafter, the airport announced that it would remain closed through March 30.

Airport officials have been working toward a partial reopening ever since engineers determined that the airport's buildings were structurally sound.

“In the past few days, Brussels Airport has made an extensive analysis of the terminal infrastructure and of the various possible scenarios for a partial recommencement of its activities,” officials said in a communiqué issued late on Sunday, March 27. “When this partial restart will take place … depends on the various processes that have to be restarted. The simple fact is that a restart in the short term is not possible in the devastated infrastructure. “

Airport officials began erecting temporary constructions on March 24, including designing additional security measures that will be implemented at all Belgian airports on the orders of the government.

Overall, the temporary plans must meet three criteria. The temporary constructions must satisfy all construction and fire safety regulations, the various passengers flows must be tested in real time to ensure that everything runs smoothly, and government authorities must give their approval to the security system that is being implemented>

The construction and fire safety inspection of the temporary constructions will take place on Tuesday, March 29. That same day, airport officials will also conduct a major test of the temporary passenger flows, using 800 airport staff members to test the temporary arrangement and infrastructure for the check-in procedure. The test will be developed in consultation with the various airport partners, the Federal Police, Defense, and the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA), BRU officials reported.

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