Belgian Interior Minister Jambon understands “concerns” of Brussels Airport police, but wants a resumption of activities


The Interior Minister, Jan Jambon, said Friday he “understand the security concerns” of the police of Brussels Airport after the suicide bombings of 22 March, but he stresses the need for reinstating “the service that a modern state must give“. “I understand their concerns,” he told Bel-RTL radio from Washington, where he participates for two days in the 4th summit on nuclear security organised at the initiative of US President Barack Obama.

The airport is “technically ready” for a partial resumption of passenger flights, after the green light received Thursday from the fire department and the Directorate General of Air Transportation (DGTA). But Thursday night police unions have threatened to strike if the airport is reopened under the current security conditions.

Negotiations between unions and police authorities regarding the security measures at Brussels Airport were stopped. The main claim of the police unions is a guarantee of systematic control of all passengers and their luggage at the entrance of the check-in and registration hall.

Also interviewed by VRT-radio, Mr. Jambon has been, however, relatively optimistic Friday about the resumption of negotiations. “There is not yet an agreement,” he acknowledged. But “it evolves, we work at it,” he assured.

Thursday night, Prime Minister Charles Michel on his side had launched  on VRT and RTBF a call for the resumption of negotiations between management and unions of the federal police for a rapid resumption of passenger operations at the national airport.