It will take months to reopen Brussels airport fully, its CEO has warned, as staff return to the site a week after it was targeted by Islamist bombers.
Arnaud Feist said he hoped the airport would open at 20% capacity on Wednesday but “it’ll take months before we are running at full capacity”.
Thirty-five people were killed and 96 more are still in hospital after bombs targeted the airport and a metro train.
The airport is carrying out tests to assess whether it can resume flights.
EU institutions reopened on Tuesday, amid beefed-up security measures. Increased searches on bags and vehicles are being introduced at the European Parliament while many events organised by non-EU bodies have been suspended.
Some 800 airport workers were asked to return to work on Monday to test provisional arrangements involving a temporary check-in area. Enhanced security measures are being introduced in the temporary building and further screening of baggage will take place before passengers reach the departure lounge.
The airport will only be allowed to reopen if the government gives the green light, with an initial target of 800 to 1,000 passengers per hour as opposed to the airport’s average of 5,000.
“The provisional structure will not be able to absorb the usual number we had before the attacks,” Mr Feist told Belgian media.
“Although the structure of the building is intact, it will all have to be rebuilt, from the air conditioning to the check-in desks. And that will take months,” he predicted.