Tighter security at Zaventem still in force

14th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

14 August 2006, BRUSSELS — The heightened security measures imposed at Zaventem Airport after last week's UK terror alert are still in force.

14 August 2006

BRUSSELS — The heightened security measures imposed at Zaventem Airport after last week's UK terror alert are still in force.

Belgian police and security services have also been put on alert with radical groups under intensified surveillance by the national security service VS-SE.

A spokesman for the national crisis centre, Benoit Ramaecker, said the radical groups could be within the Pakistani community, but denied media reports that Pakistanis were being specifically targeted.

The security measures that were imposed last Thursday will remain in effect for the short-term. The College for Intelligence and Security will meet in coming days to re-assess the situation.

And amid the continued vigilance, British Airways cancelled all of its flights between London Heathrow and Zaventem Airport on Sunday.

Other airlines were still flying to Heathrow, however, and BA flights from Zaventem to other destinations were also being carried.

A spokesman for Zaventem operator BIAC said about 100 passengers were affected by the BA cancellations. He advised passengers to contact the British airline or their travel agent for advice.

Besides the flights to Brussels international airport, BA also scrapped on Sunday one third of its flights from Heathrow to European destinations.

The latest round of flight cancellations was due to the chaos Heathrow was plunged into last week. The airport is still struggling to resume normal services and transport passengers left stranded after hundreds of flights from Heathrow were cancelled.

From Zaventem on Friday, BA flights to the UK were cancelled or delayed, while flights to the US were also delayed, sometimes by up to three hours due to the new security measures.

See through plastics bags were being distributed at check-ins for US-bound passengers to carry their wallet or purse, travel documents, necessary medicines and possibly tampons. Everything else had to be packed away into checked baggage.

But the approach of various airlines differed, with SN Brussels Airlines allowing passengers to take hand baggage on board for flights to the UK. But passengers from the UK to Brussels were force to check their hand baggage in.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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