Passengers advised to go to the airport 3 to 4 hours in advance as police start work-to-rule

Police officers that carry out passport checks at the country’s airports have started a work to rule. This will especially impact those wishing to travel from Zaventem Airport, near Brussels. With the schools breaking up for half term today, around 40,000 passengers are expected at Zaventem. The work-to-rule will mean longer than normal waits at passport control and passengers are being advised to turn up at the airport well in advance of their flights.  

The work-to-rule got under way at 6am. Since then all identity cards and passports have been checked strictly according to the book. The company in charge of running Zaventem, Brussels Airport advises passengers to turn up at least three hours in advance for flights within the European Union and 4 hours in advance if they are flying to destinations outside the EU.   

The Federal Police Service closed one lane of the A201 motorway that connects the airport with Brussels. This has caused tailbacks for those wishing to reach the airport.  

The unions are well aware that passengers will be impacted by their action. Joery Dehaes of the Christian trade union ACV told VRT News that “However, we need to convince the government one way or another to do something about the unacceptable working conditions for police officers at the airport. This problem has been ongoing for years and a point has been reached where enough is enough”.  

The work-to-rule could continue throughout the half-term holiday and could even become a fully-blown strike. However, Mr Dehaes stressed that he and his union don’t want it to come to that. If concessions are made the industrial action will be suspended.  

The action is in protest at continuing staff shortages and a lack of equipment.