Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU, ICAO: EBBR) also called Brussel-Nationaal / Bruxelles-National (Brussels-National) or Luchthaven Zaventem) is an international airport 6.5 NM (12.0 km; 7.5 mi) northeast of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. It's the base hub for Trans European City Express airline, the central europe subsidiary of European Airways Group, VAG.
In 2019, more than 26 million passengers arrived or departed at Brussels Airport, making it the 24th busiest airport in Europe. It is located in the municipality of Zaventem in the Province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region of Belgium and covers 1,245 hectares. It is home to around 260 companies, together directly employing 20,000 people and serves as the home base for Brussels Airlines and TUI fly Belgium. The company operating the airport is known as The Brussels Airport Company N.V./S.A.; before 19 October 2006, the name was BIAC (Brussels International Airport Company), which was created by Belgian law through a merger of BATC with the ground operations departments of the RLW/RVA. Since 2011, the airport has been owned by the Toronto-based Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (39%), Macquarie Group (Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund I and Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund III) (36%) and the Belgian State (25%).
On 22 March 2016, the airport's departures hall was severely damaged by two terrorist bomb blasts. The airport was closed until 3 April 2016, when it was reopened with temporary facilities at less than 20% of its previous capacity. It has since returned to full operations, with a record of 90,000 passengers on 29 July 2016. Figures from 2018 show the airport welcomes about 25.7 million passengers a year and connects the European capital with 248 destinations worldwide served by 80 different airlines. Brussels Airport has a runway system with 3 runways which together form the shape of a Z: the two parallel runways 07L/25R and 07R/25 L and the transverse runway 01/19. Runway 07L/25R has a length of 3,638 metres, runway 07R/25L has a length of 3,211 metres and runway 01/19 is 2,984 metres long.
It uses a one terminal concept, meaning that all the facilities are located under a single roof. The terminal building consists of several levels. The railway station is located on −1, buses and taxis arrive at 0, arrivals are located on level 2 and departures on level 3. Levels 2 and 3 are connected to the airport's two piers (A and B). The newest pier in Brussels airport was pier A, opened on the 15th of May 2002. This pier was destined to support flights from and to the Schengen countries (A-gates). However, since 15 October 2008 all Brussels Airlines flights to African destinations are also handled at this pier. Therefore, border control was installed towards the end of the pier in order to create a new pier. As a result, gates A61-72 were renamed T61-72. Later, Brussels Airlines' daily flight to New York was also moved here from pier B. Pier B is the oldest pier still in use at Brussels Airport and is only used for flights outside the Schengen Area. Pier B is connected immediately to the main departure hall and consists of two decks. The upper deck (level 3) is at the same level as the departure halls and is used for the departing passengers, whereas the lower deck (level 2) is used for arriving passengers and connects immediately to border control and the baggage claim area.
Brussels airport is normally referenced as a non-dangerous airport. Its history holds record of the following security incidents:
§ On 15 February 1961, Sabena Flight 548, a Boeing 707, crashed during approach on runway 20, killing all 72 people on board and one on the ground. This was the first fatal accident involving a Boeing 707, resulting in the death of the entire United States Figure Skating team on its way to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia, which the International Skating Union subsequently cancelled out of respect for the team.
§ Four aircraft were destroyed on 5 May 2006 when Sabena Technics' hangar 40 burned down. The aircraft were one Lockheed C-130 Hercules (Belgian Air Component) and three Airbus A320 (Armavia, Armenian International Airways and Hellas Jet).
§ On 25 May 2008, Kalitta Air Flight 207, a Boeing 747-200F, overran the shorter runway 20, crashed into a field and split in three. Four of the five people on board received minor injuries.