By Isaac Tersoo Agber
Brussels airport said it will partially reopen for passenger flights today Friday, April 1, 2016 in the evening, following the March 22 bomb attacks.
Casting doubt on those plans however, airport police warned of a planned strike on Sunday in protest over what they said were lax security measures planned by authorities.
“The measures proposed by the authorities are insufficient,” Belgian broadcaster RTBF cited the police union as saying.
The strike would delay plans to allow some flights to resume, a spokeswoman for the airport said. “As long as there is no agreement, the airport will not reopen,” Florence Muls said.
Bombs detonated by suicide bombers at Brussels airport and on a metro train a short while later killed 35 people and wounded scores of others.
Belgian police, the fire service and the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority have been checking the airport, whose departure hall was badly damaged by two blasts, to see if it was ready to resume service.
“The airport is… technically ready for a restart of passenger flights in the temporary infrastructure foreseen for check-in,” the Brussels Airport Company said in a statement.
The provisional arrangement will allow the airport to receive 800 departing passengers per hour.
Arriving passengers will go through the usual baggage reclaim and arrivals area in the terminal. This zone was only slightly damaged and has since been restored for use.
“The final step for the restart is the formal political approval. In the meantime, it has been decided that there will be no passenger flights until Friday evening,” the statement said.
Brussels Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, handling 23.5 million passengers and 489,000 tonnes of freight annually. It links the Belgian capital with 226 destinations worldwide, served by 77 different airlines.