exp Belgium is a hotbed for ISIS recruitment_00002829.jpg
Why belgium is Europe's front line in war on terror
02:50 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

This will be the first time passengers can use the airport since the March 22 bombings

A 33-year-old Belgian is accused of being part of a terrorist organization

He was detained by investigators looking into the case of a man accused of plotting an attack in France

CNN  — 

For the first time since deadly terrorist bombings rocked Brussels, the city’s main airport on Sunday will reopen to passengers – albeit to a very limited number of them.

Here’s what we know about this measured move toward normalcy, which will come 12 days after the March 22 bombings at the airport and the city’s subway system that killed 32 people and injured more than 300 others:

Only three flights are scheduled Sunday

The reopening of Brussels Airport will start with small steps: Only three Brussels Airlines flights – to Faro, Portugal; Turin, Italy; and Athens, Greece – will take off Sunday, airport CEO Arnaud Feist said Saturday.

“These flights are the first hopeful sign from an airport that is standing up straight after a cowardly attack,” Feist said.

No arrivals are planned Sunday. Departing and arriving passenger flights will be added in coming days, he said, but details about the pace were not released.

A flight schedule is in the works; the airport says the public should contact airlines or check the airport’s website for the latest.

Sunday’s departures may be the first commercial passenger flights since the attacks, but other planes have used the airport. Cargo flights resumed at the airport more than a week ago.

The damage has temporarily cut airport’s capacity

The airport’s reopening to passenger flights was always going to be gradual, in part because the bombings damaged a passenger check-in hall.

A temporary substitute check-in area has been arranged – one that can receive 800 departing passengers per hour.

But that’s only about 20% of normal capacity, the airport says.

Some flights won’t return anytime soon

Because of the limited capacity, some airlines won’t be able to resume all their flights at Brussels Airport.

“I am very well aware that not every airline can or wants to return to Brussels Airport,” Feist said. “I personally promise that Brussels Airport will do everything in its power to increase as quickly as possible the capacity of our airport.”

Delta is one airline that will cut a set of flights. Its Atlanta-Brussels route will be suspended until March 2017 “due to the uncertainty surrounding the reopening of Brussels airport and the weakening demand environment,” the airline said.

Delta will continue its service between Brussels and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, however.

Enhanced security means a longer wait

The move comes after days of negotiations between airport and police officials on new security arrangements at the airport, which is operating a temporary departure hall in place of the facility damaged in the attacks.

Because of the enhanced security measures – which include screening of passengers and their vehicles on the access road approaching the airport – travelers are being advised to arrive at least three hours before their scheduled departure.

Because of the added security, passengers should arrive at least three hours before their scheduled departure, and people should have their identity papers “handy in the car and at the temporary check-in area,” the airport said.

People gather on the on the Place de la Bourse in central Brussels on March 27 in a tribute to bombing victims.

Arrest linked to a French plot

Also Saturday, Belgian officials announced an arrest in one of the terror investigations connecting their nation and France.

The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said investigators have detained and charged a 33-year-old man with being part of a terror group.

It’s not clear what the allegations are against the man or even his identity. He’s identified only as a Belgian national with the initials Y.A. in the prosecutor’s statement.

His case is connected with that of Reda Kriket, 32, a French citizen indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy to commit a terrorism act, possession of false documents, weapons possession and manufacturing of explosives.

French police arrested Kriket on March 24 in Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris, then raided an apartment not far away in Argenteuil. They found a large weapons cache and bomb-making materials there, French prosecutor Francois Molins said.

A Belgian court already had found Kriket guilty in absentia and sentenced him to 10 years in prison for being part of a jihadist network, according to Belgian court documents.

Authorities haven’t given any indication that Y.A. or Kriket had any direct involvement in the Brussels bombings.

Nor is any connection publicly known between the two men and the November terror attacks that left 130 dead and hundreds more wounded.

The Paris attackers had close ties to Belgium, with many having lived in the capital.

CNN’s Jon Jensen contributed to this report.