Brussels airport to reopen following terrorist attacks | News | DW | 02.04.2016
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Brussels airport to reopen following terrorist attacks

Almost two weeks after the terrorist attacks, Brussels' Zaventem airport has announced some flights will resume Sunday. Security is to be tightened with metal detectors in use and limited vehicle access.

CEO of Brussels Zaventem airport, Arnaud Feist, confirmed on Saturday that three flights were scheduled to depart on Sunday.

"From Sunday morning, Brussels Airport should be partially operational," Feist told a press conference, adding that the resumption of services "plays an important role in our grieving process."

"This restart, even if it's only partial, is a sign of hope," he said.

The three flights, operated by Brussels Airlines, will travel to Turin in Italy, Faro in Portugal and to the Greek capital, Athens. Feist said he hopes full passenger service will be resumed by the end of June or beginning of July.

Islamist attacks

Brussels airport has been closed since March 22 when "Islamic State" (IS) militants carried out a series of attacks in the Belgian capital. Sixteen people died in the attacks at Brussels airport, while another 16 were killed in an explosion at a metro station near the city's European Union headquarters. 270 people were also injured.

Prior to the attacks, Brussels airport usually handled around 600 flights a day, with about 1.5 million people travelling through the airport in February.

Security at Brussels Airport

New safety measures wil be implemented at the Brussels Airport in light of last month's attacks

Tightened security

Police spokesman Michael Jonniaux said on Saturday that new security measures will also be introduced in light of the March attacks. As well as spot checks on vehicles arriving at the airport, people and luggage will also be scanned before entering the airport terminal.

Travelers' IDs and travel documents will also be checked to ensure they correspond, Jonniaux added.

Arrests at demonstrations

The announcement on Saturday came as Belgian police arrested some two dozen people at Brussels' Bourse square where officers broke up a counter-demonstration against a banned Islamaphobic protest in the Molenbeek district. A man was also handcuffed and taken away in the neighborhood earlier the same day. The Islamaphobic demonstration had been planned by a France-based far-right group.