The structural shortage of border control staff at Brussels Airport is a major problem for the airport, CEO Arnaud Feist said during a New Year's speech at the airport.
The shortage, and the bottlenecks it causes, militate against the opening of new intercontinental destinations, Feist said, calling on the federal government “to solve this problem as soon as possible.”
Zaventem Airport received nearly 19 million passengers last year, double the 2021 figure and 72% of pre-pandemic levels.
“We are not yet at pre-corona levels, but we are on the right track,” Feist said. “Doubling passenger traffic was quite an operational challenge, but we have succeeded.”
Still, there is one major bottleneck: border controls. “The federal police officers have done their best to avoid queues,” Feist said, “but there is a structural shortage of personnel at the airport police. I cannot but urge the federal government to solve this problem as soon as possible.”
According to Feist, the border control problems “hinder the development of intercontinental operations” at the airport: they reportedly make interested airlines hesitate to open new long-haul destinations since they do not want to risk their passengers having to queue for hours.