Legal framework for Brussels Airport Company security service under review

July 30, 2015

Brussels Airport Company punctuates that every necessary measure has been taken for the safety of passengers and of the airport, in accordance with national and international legislation. Brussels Airport Company is discussing the legal framework for its security personnel with minister Galant. Meanwhile a consultation with the unions on the subject had already been planned for September.

Over recent months, discussions have been taking place concerning the outdated legislation and the long-term vision for the organisation of the Brussels Airport Company security department. In this context, minister Galant will host a round-table meeting in consultation with Brussels Airport Company in September with a view to adjusting the legal framework to take account of the latest evolutions in the aviation and security environment. The unions have also been invited.

Brussels Airport Company is conscious that the staff who are responsible for the security of the airport are essential to its day-to-day operation. It is a fundamental requirement that the airport operator adopts the necessary measures in compliance with the legislation. Accordingly, in recent years the airport has invested in personnel and new technologies in order to monitor safety. Thanks to these new technologies, more alarm signals are being detected than ever before. Every alarm is responded to, but not every alarm necessarily constitutes a safety incident.

The security system at Brussels Airport is inspected on a regular basis by the Directorate General for Aviation and by European bodies. In the event that a potential problem is identified in an audit, the airport operator will in every case take immediate corrective measures. Over recent years, the Brussels Airport security system has always been declared compliant.

Numerous measures are in force at the airport, in respect of the safety of passengers and that of the operations and personnel. One such measure is the control of access to the embarkation area that takes place in Connector via automatic access gates. These automatic gates, which are also used in many other international airports, are not new, and have been operated for passengers at Brussels Airport for several years. The number of them was recently increased, for purposes of the new Connector platform.

The recent security incident in which two individuals who were not holding valid access permits – but were fully checked for prohibited items – accompanied a passenger as far as the aircraft, is currently the subject of analysis. In the interim, additional measures have been taken in order to prevent the recurrence of such an incident. The airline company has been asked to clarify its procedure for control of access to its aircraft. A legal investigation is also underway. It is important to mention in this regard that, under the legislation, individuals who breach the regulations concerning the safety of airports risk a custodial sentence of between 8 days and 1 year, and a fine of from 200 to 4 million euros.

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