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New Concourse To Open Soon At Brussels Airport  
User currently offlineAmerican 767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3792 posts, RR: 12
Posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3201 times:
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Hi everyone,
I just watched the news this evening on RTL, a Belgian television channel, and they were talking about the new concourse A to open sometimes next month or the summer at the latest. I think that the new concourse will accomodate charter flights. They were testing the new facilities by announcing boarding on a fake Virgin Express flight and giving fake tickets to some employee at the airport, the boarding passes still had to be treated manually. That's a technical problem still to be solved but other than that, everything seemed to be OK.

Brussels National Airport does have a bright future in the years to come. It just went under a deep crisis, as you may know especially if you live in Brussels, going through two tragedies: the Sept 11 attacks and two months later Belgium lost its wings, in other words Sabena went out of business. The passanger figures in recent statistics have declined by some 40%. But now, the skies are getting clear in Belgium. VLM, which always flew out of Antwerp, now has an office at Brussels Airport. SN Brussels Airlines started recently, so did Thomas Cook, and VG Airlines is coming up. Flights to Africa are expected to restart in April. All of that is gradually going to compensate Sabena's bankrupcy.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium


Ben Soriano
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLhb From Belgium, joined Mar 2001, 41 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3132 times:

Ben,
Effectively, the inauguration of this new concourse (Pier A) is foreseen for the 15th May, this new concourse will accomodate Schengen flights and will replace the old concourse (Pier C) built in 1958 for the international expo.
Normally, the old C concourse had to be refurbished in the coming months/years but with bad BIAC's statistics, this project is postponed...

Regards, Laurent.


User currently offlineEstablished02 From Belgium, joined Jan 2002, 536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3129 times:

American 767,

> the new concourse A to open sometimes next month or the summer at the latest.

The opening of Terminal A is announced for May 15th. In the departure hall -where you take the escalators to Pizza Hut and the other restaurants upstairs- there is this huge BIAC advertisement (10m x 5m) announcing the opening of the new Terminal. The ad shows a cup of coffee and on top of the long swirling coffee vapour you see a small jet. Nice Ad.

> I think that the new concourse will accomodate charter flights.

Terminal A is destined for all flights originating from & departing for Schengen-countries. This may include charter flights as well.

> They were testing the new facilities by announcing boarding on a fake Virgin Express flight

BIAC has contracted Interim Agency "Randstad Interim" to provide 1600 dummy passengers, to test the facilities before the actual opening of the terminal on May 15th. There is a test session every Tuesday and Thursday and each time BIAC wants to check various aspects of the facilities, in cooperation with the airlines.

This week I have been participating to two of these test sessions, together with 80 other people (housewives, students, pensioneers, anybody,...). All participants get an airport badge and a boarding pass for a fictional flight (AZ, LH, VEX, SN, ...). They just have to walk -like future passengers will- from the check-in zone, through customs and finally to the gate in the new terminal A. It's a pretty long walk, but fortunately there are escalators to bring you two levels down, moving carpets to move you through a long tunnel and again escalators to bring you two levels up again.

For now BIAC is testing with about 4 gates (A45, A47, A49, A51) and each time Globeground, Alitalia, SNBA and VEX are sending their check-in staff to see if everything works fine.

> and giving fake tickets to some employee at the airport

Actually, I was boarding this "fake" Virgin Express flight. My boarding pass for flight T0S 3002 was on the name of Bond / James. During "the job" I was approached by a RTL-TVi crew. They interviewed me (in French) and asked me about my impressions about the new facilities. I said the new infrastructure looked great and that it will be very valuable for Brussels and Belgium. I dind't see the RTL-TVi program, but perhaps you actually saw me on TV (an ordinary fellow with a khaki-green jacket and a blue backpack).

> the boarding passes still had to be treated manually.

The VEX team did the boarding manually for some reason, however the other machines worked properly.

> everything seemed to be OK.

There is still a lot of work to be done to finish up everything. There are still hundreds of workers working at all corners of the site. It may end up as a race against time to have everything ready and spotless by May 15th.

I had some interesting talks with several BIAC people. One of them pointed me to to the state of the art speakers that had been installed for every pair of gates. These speakers are about 4 meters tall by 20 cm and they provide an excellent sound quality.

Another fancy introduction are the big flat-screen monitors (1,20 meter by 50 cm), which display the flight information. The BIAC person didn't want to tell me the exact price, but I understood it was up to 120.000 EUR for just one of these screens. I guess there will be a few dozens of these screens around, therefore => $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. The total price tag of the new infrastructure would be roughly about 250.000.000 EUR (10 billion BEF). The collapse of Sabena and therefore the loss of income for BIAC must have been painful thing to digest.

The architects of Terminal A have used a lot of glass. This means that passengers can clearly see their aircraft before boarding. You have a view on Terminal B on the south side and on Runway 25R on the north side. Terminal A creates new opportunities for (travelling) spotters. You can see the planes at Brucargo, the LH Technics facilities, the military site, the ATC tower, runway 02-20,... You can see the planes rotate within a very close distance, but you hardly hear anything. It's great to have all these big windows, but I'm just wondering how often BIAC will be able to clean them. Furthermore because of the curved shape of the windows, there is an extra difficulty for cleaning.

By the way, somewhere at the ongoing exposition on the history of Brussels Airport, I read that Aviapartner employee & Journalist (?) Frans Van Humbeek will present a new book on the Brussels Airport and on Belgian aviation, right at the opening of Terminal A on May 15th.

PS: This morning I saw EC commissioner Romani Prodi entering the airport facilities through a side entrance of the '58 building. He must be a very frequent flyer out of Brussels. I saw him passing by in a grey Mercedes (with a green-red CD plate), while he was concentrated on some papers. Later in the evening I saw him on the news, presiding over some kind of conference somewhere in Europe. I guess flying and travelling is not so much fun any more for these kind of people.




User currently offlineEstablished02 From Belgium, joined Jan 2002, 536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

> understood it was up to 120.000 EUR for just one of these screens.

Sorry, I'm still struggling with counting in EURO.

I meant to say half a million BEF, which is 12.000 EUR and not 120.000 EUR.


User currently offlineLuchtzak From Belgium, joined Dec 2001, 468 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (12 years 6 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

Pre-pictures of new terminal A pier in Brussels can be seen on http://fly.to/airportpictures

Don't worry, it's not my site!!

greetz
luchtzak
http://www.luchtzak.be



User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3099 times:

About Prodi,

He took the DL125 to Atlanlta yesterday morning. He was escorted by 3 people from the 'protocol'. The FA onboard the aircraft did not had a clue who this VIP was.



SUPPORT THE LEBANESE CIVILIANS
User currently offlineEstablished02 From Belgium, joined Jan 2002, 536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

I noticed another interesting feature to the new Terminal A. Well, at least it's new to me.

At the right side of each jetway there is some kind of swirling glide path (in Dutch: een kronkelende glijbaan), similar to -but much smaller than- the ones you see in these fancy swimming pools at Six Flags or Bruparck.

There is a small gate (in Dutch: een rolluik) in the jetway which can be opened from inside and then you can throw things down this glide path.

Initially I thought that this glide path was perhaps an emergency evacuation exit for passengers. Surely kids would love to play on them anytime. Or perhaps these glide paths could be used by the cabin cleaning to smoothly send down their plastic bags with used newspapers and garbage, instead of just dropping them on the tarmac.

However a BIAC person told me that these things would be exclusively used to send excessive carry-on luggage from the cabin down to the belly cargo space. Transfer passengers often have too much carry-on luggage with them and for those instances there is a need to quickly move this luggage down.

It may look like an expensive gadget, but perhaps the check-in staff will be very happy to use this new equipment.






User currently offlineEstablished02 From Belgium, joined Jan 2002, 536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3066 times:

> About Prodi

Manni,

Do you know if the European Community owns/leases a business jet for their VIPs, based at BRU? Or do they just charter one from ABELAG or the Belgian Air Force, whenever there is a need?


User currently offlineSpitfire From France, joined Feb 2001, 801 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3058 times:

You can see our dear Established02 on TV by going to this site :

http://www.rtl.be/info/infoenvideo.cfm?navigation_id=172

- Then choose "Le Journal en Vidéo" on the left column, and "Jeudi 21 mars 2002" .

- The sequence is named " La nouvelle jetée à l'aéroport de Buxelles-National".

Ok I know it's in French ....Well done Edwin...

Anyway enjoy !!!
Spitfire



Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
User currently offlineSpitfire From France, joined Feb 2001, 801 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

Seems to work better with Windows Media Player.
Rgds
Spitfire



Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )
User currently offlineEstablished02 From Belgium, joined Jan 2002, 536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3040 times:

Hello Spitfire,

I just watched the little video. Nice surprise!

Many thanks for pointing me to these images. This gives me a little story to tell my kids in the future.

Best regards,

Established02


User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3039 times:

Established02,

I have no idea.



SUPPORT THE LEBANESE CIVILIANS
User currently offlineSabena 690 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3038 times:

Congratulations Edwin!!

Nice to see you in real-life time!!

I will visit Brussels Airport the 8th of may for a lead around.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
And I will take the aircraft the 11th of July in the new terminal.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Regards,
Sabena 690


User currently offlineMls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3076 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3026 times:



I was at BRU on Tuesday and I got a good look at the new concourse. It looks nice with all the glass. I like how even the jetway have glass walls, a nice touch. Passengers in this terminal in the late morning will get a good look at all the 767s heading for America: UA, AA, CO, DL.


User currently offlineEstablished02 From Belgium, joined Jan 2002, 536 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3022 times:

> I will visit Brussels Airport the 8th of may for a lead around.

Hey Sabena 690,

Is this perhaps a tour offered by VACATURE.COM at 19:30?

If so, I will be there as well on May 8th. Found my invitation letter in the mail this morning!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Regards,

Established02


User currently offlineRedcap From Belgium, joined Mar 2002, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (12 years 6 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3006 times:

yeah , the new A terminal will be opened soon . Pictures of the out and inside ( of a few weeks ago ) to get an idea what it will look about can be seen on http://fly.to/airportpictures , in the album : new terminal A in preview.
rgds
Pieter


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