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Brussels Airport Plans Partial Reopening

In its latest update, Brussels Airport has announced that an “extensive analysis of the terminal infrastructure and of the various possible scenarios for a partial recommencement” of activities has lead it to conclude that a restart of full operations in the short term is not possible due to “devastated infrastructure”.

The airport will instead test operational scenarios of the various processes which could support a “partial restart” of airport services.

“Brussels Airport began erecting temporary constructions last Thursday. These include the additional security measures that are being implemented at all Belgian airports on the orders of the government,” the airports announcement states.

The airport also lists plans which would support a partial restart.

“The departure flow will run via temporary constructions to the ground-floor zone of Connector. There an area will be installed with temporary check-in desks where passengers can report for their flight and also hand in their luggage,” the airport states. “From there the route will make use of the service stairway to the familiar screening platform of Connector, which emerged undamaged from the attacks. The passenger and hand-luggage checks will take place in this area and from here the passengers will follow the normal route. For arriving passengers, we are looking at a solution to take them by bus via a hangar.”

Brussels Airport also detailed three criteria which would be required to support a partial restart:

  • The temporary constructions must satisfy all construction and fire safety regulations
  • The various passengers flows must be tested in real life, to ensure that everything runs smoothly
  • The government authorities must give their blessing to the security system that is being implemented

The airport plans to conduct construction and fire safety inspection of the temporary constructions which would support a partial reopening this Tuesday.

The airport will also conduct a “major test” to try out passenger flows this Tuesday, with 800 airport staff to confirm the function of temporary operational infrastructure for passenger check-in.

“This test will be developed in consultation with the various airport partners, the Federal Police, Defence, the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA),” Brussels Airport states.

The final decision for partial reopening will depend on the approval of government authorities who will review the security system and operations plans for airport services.

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