Aviation

Brussels airport gets go-ahead to reopen

DPA

Brussels’ international airport has been given the go-ahead to reopen following suicide bombing attacks that killed more than 30 people in the Belgian capital last week, but its operator says no date has been set for flights to resume.

On March 22, two attackers blew themselves up in the departure hall of the Brussels Zaventem airport, while a third set off an explosion at a subway station near the city’s headquarters for the European Union’s main institutions.

Another bomb later exploded at the airport when bomb disposal experts were on the scene, but nobody was hurt.

The Belgian police has since been on the hunt for an attacker who fled the scene.

Following the attacks, a temporary check-in area has been set up at the airport and has undergone extensive safety testing and passenger simulations this week.

The fire services and the Belgian civil aviation authority gave their approval for a restart late on Wednesday, the airport operator said in a statement.

“The airport is thus technically ready for a restart of passenger flights in the temporary infrastructure foreseen for check-in,” it added.

The provisional infrastructure can only handle about 20 per cent of the airport’s regular volume, or about 800 departing passengers per hour, the operator said.

Nothing will change for arriving passengers, it added, as the baggage reclaim and arrivals area were only slightly damaged and have since been restored.

The operator said it is now awaiting political approval for the airport to reopen, noting that there will be no passenger flights before Friday evening.

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