The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has expressed its strong condemnation of Tuesday’s terrorist bombings in Brussels, stressing its deep condolences for the victims of the tragic assaults and its solidarity with the people and Government of Belgium.
The Council President and Secretary General of the UN agency also expressed their continued concern over the persistent willingness of terrorist groups to target international civil aviation facilities and operations.
“These attacks were an affront to peace and liberty,” stressed ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “The civil aviation community remains determined to keep our global network and its billions of passengers safe from terrorist threats, and we are deeply saddened today in the aftermath of these cowardly assaults against innocent civilians and travellers. Our hearts and sympathies today are with the victims and their families and the people of Belgium.”
ICAO Secretary General, Dr Fang Liu, added: “Our agency deeply regrets that civil aviation operations and facilities continue to be considered as valid targets by terrorist groups worldwide. While the devices at Zaventem airport were detonated in public, landside airport areas which are not protected by civil aviation screening standards and related procedures, threats to international passengers at any stage in their journey are of tremendous concern to ICAO and the entire air transport community.”
ICAO maintains security provisions for both airside and landside terminal areas. These are presently undergoing review through the agency’s Aviation Security Panel and Committee on Unlawful Interference, and will be subject to final review and adoption by ICAO’s 36-State Governing Council.
It is unclear when Brussels’ Zaventem Airport will reopen as a forensic examination and repair work are still underway, however the Belgian authorities have announced that it will remain closed until at least Saturday March 26. Passengers are advised to check with their airline for more information.