Airport inspectors launched a fun event in the reception hall at Brussels airport on Monday, hoping to engage the minister of Mobility Jacqueline Galant. They are asking for clarification regarding their status and their duties. Without a clear answer, the CGSLB and CGSP unions plan to send a strike notice for June 29th. The 200 airport inspectors, trained as police inspectors, came under the authority of Brussels Airport Company when the airport was privatised in 2004. Lawmakers originally wanted them to remain independent from the airport operator, explains union representative Thierry Vuchelen (CGSLB). As years went by, the situation became more confusing, inspectors being in the end stuck between the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority, the federal police force, and Brussels Airport Company.
Furthermore, the federal police requested within the context of a terrorist threat last January, that they should forgo arms and uniforms in certain zones of the airport. The increasing number of checks by private security companies is also an issue. “Airport inspectors request a clear position from politicians regarding airport security services and the role of inspectors,” adds Thierry Vuchelen.
During the action on Monday, travellers were asked to fold leaflets in the shape of planes and fly them around the reception hall. Brochures explained to the public that “airport inspectors are trained for this specific task, and kept from independently carrying out their work, while government authorities are doing nothing to remedy the situation.”