Bordeaux, Tarbes, Pau, Bergerac and even Basel-Mulhouse... these airports had to, once again, evacuate their facilities last Thursday because of bomb threats. Between October 18 and 22, nearly 70 announcements were sent to airports, from “almost always the same email address located in Switzerland,” the French Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, said on Sunday.
Due to their repetition, these false announcements have “an obvious impact” on airport cash flow, the president of the Union of French Airports (UAF), Thomas Juin, announced on Friday on BFM Business. If, for the moment, “the airports have not yet taken stock”, the losses could amount to “several million euros”, according to the specialist.
In addition to the financial aspect, he also points out the fatigue of airport staff: “we are in an extremely damaging situation of tension, as we come out of a season where our teams were very busy.” “We find ourselves this fall with a succession of constraints, it’s not an easy period,” laments Thomas Juin.
Despite their exhaustion, the teams remain reactive in the face of false bomb threats and adapt their strategy. “In the region, there is a systematic analysis, which is different from a few days ago,” specifies the president of the UAF. Concretely, airports are no longer evacuated entirely, but only in zones, in particular before “the filtered part” of security checks.
In total, sixty investigations were launched, “all locations combined”, underlined Clément Beaune. The executive wants to be particularly vigilant since the country raised the alert level of the Vigipirate plan against attacks two weeks ago. This move to the “maximum level” follows the assassination on October 13 of teacher Dominique Bernard in his high school in Arras (Pas-de-Calais) by a young person accused of Islamist radicalization.