Delays in security clearance checks leave Brussels Airport staff unable to work

At least 300 employees at Brussels Airport are unable to work because of a delay in processing security checks, De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws report on Monday.

Pilots, cabin crew, customs staff, border control staff, police officers and baggage handlers all need a security pass to operate in sensitive and non-publicly accessible areas of the airport. Passes are given after a background screening by the federal police, State Security and the military intelligence agency ADIV, and must be renewed every year. 

Recently, however, a backlog in processing the checks has resulted in hundreds of security passes being blocked as they were unable to be renewed in time. 

"If we don’t step things up soon, there could be 2,000 people without a badge and thus immediately unable to work"

“In the first week of March, 100 badges of employees of various companies at Brussels Airport were suddenly blocked,” said Kurt Callaerts of union ACV-Transcom. “There are now more than 300, and if we don’t step things up soon, there could be 2,000 people without a badge and thus immediately unable to work.”

Most of the affected workers have been placed on temporary unemployment or transferred to other functions. The union is threatening “tough action” if staff lose wages as a result of the backlog.

“To deliver the security verifications, the federal police work with a number of security partners, each of which has to carry out screening within its domain,” said police spokesperson An Berger. “The backlog is with one of them.”

The federal government has recently announced plans to increase security screening for staff, including on the railways and at ports.


Illustration picture shows a customs officer performing a passport control at Brussels Airport, November 2022 © BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE

Related news

Website preview
Possible restrictions on Eurostar services due to future post-Brexit passport controls
The Brussels Times reports that the delayed implementation of the EU's post-Brexit Entry/Exit System (EES) by the end of 2024 will likely affect...

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels