Danielle Iwens works at the Aviapartner check-in counter at Zaventem. She told VRT TV how she had digested the events of a year ago, but also voiced criticism of security arrangements at the airport building. In the 23 years she has worked there she has never experienced an evacuation. She is unaware of any evacuation plan or points.
Airport unions today confirm Danielle Iwens's story. The socialist union's Sandra Langenus: "There's no plan. So there's been no try-out. People working at the airport haven't a clue what they should do in the event of an incident, where they should gather."
"Nothing's been agreed or made clearer during the past year. Nothing's been done to give the staff any reassurance or to explain to them what they should do if something happens."
The union says that the people with final responsibility for the airport evacuation plan as well as prevention advisers at all airport businesses bear responsibility: "One firm cannot be held responsible for security. It's something all businesses have to do together. We have pointed to the need for an evacuation plan in several security committees."
Things sped up after the attacks, but...
Sandra Langenus: "We thought that it would become a big item, but we haven't seen any movement. We have to conclude that no initiative has been taken to establish a large, overarching evacuation plan for the entire airport."
"It's the airport‘s responsibility!"
Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon says that the airport bears responsibility for the evacuation plan: "It's not my responsibility, but I'm quite prepared to mediate. There is a great need for an intervention plan that also includes evacuation exercises. Brussels Airport and the employers should put grease to their elbow."
A spokeswoman for the airport told VRT that an overarching evacuation plan involving the entire airport was not feasible.