Because of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, airport security in Europe has been criticized and closely inspected these last few weeks. Many believe the attacks could have been prevented with better security.

Vincent Gilles, president of the largest police union in Belgium, said that there is a “notable and worrying number” of baggage handlers working at the Brussels airport who have criminal records. He suggested that the hiring policy for the airport favors people from the low-income, immigrant parts of Belgium, which is where many of the terrorists have been linked to. A spokesperson from the Brussels airport said they are aware of these concerns, but have no immediate comment.

In the days after the attacks, the police raided about 4,000 employee lockers, looking for evidence of any connections to the terrorists or other Islamist groups. They found very little results that were linked with the attackers, however, they dismissed about a dozen employees who had stolen food and other products from airport vendors. They are in the process of reviewing the 87,000 employees who have access to secure areas. These employees are normally reviewed every three to five years, and badges are often revoked for security reasons.

While traffic at the Brussels airport has increased dramatically in the last five years, requests to enhance security have previously been ignored and seen as unnecessary and expensive. Is there more that could be done to ensure airport security? Is it a problem of the employees, or the security checking processes?

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