Arnaud Feist criticized on Saturday reports in media on shortcomings at the airport. “We are safe,” he said. “If we were not safe, we would not have received all permits required to carry out our business.” The head of Brussels Airport was referring to disclosures in several media of reports by the European Commission pointing to shortcomings at the airport. He considers the disclosures “irresponsible”.
“There have been many inaccurate things written and said in the press giving the impression that Brussels Airport is not safe. I regret that the safety issue is used by some for other purposes,” he said to Le Soir and La Libre Belgique on Saturday (16 April).
The publication of confidential reports of the European Commission led to the resignation of transport minister Jacqueline Galant. According to Feist, the reports were not about security at the airport but about the functioning of the Directorate General of Air Transport.
The resignation of the transport minister followed the resignation of a top transport official who had accused her of incompetence.
According to EurActiv (15 April), the EU reports only pertained to areas of the airport beyond security checks, but they pointed to “serious deficiences” in security including the tracing of explosive devices.
Galant denied that she was ever made aware of the reports that also said the relevant authorities were understaffed. But EurActiv writes that a top official has said that he had clearly notified Galant and her office on the matter.