Brussels South Charleroi Airport (BSCA) has put the keys to its security in the hands of Security Masters. Since 1 September 410 security officers of the Antwerp-based company ensure the safety of staff and passengers at Charleroi airport 24/7. The client BSCA Security has already spoken of a “démarrage réussi”, a successful start.
The airport is up and running again
This is not as self-evident as it seems. “The start-up was preceded by enormous preparation. Recruiting and training extra people, ordering work clothes, arranging everything in the field of ICT”, says Filip Pellens, manager of Security Masters, who saw his company grow from 200 to over 600 people in one day.
In full preparation for this challenging project Security Masters saw the airport get up and running after the corona pause. “In April there were almost no flights but when we started the airport was up and running again. Better numbers are expected in the coming months than before the corona pandemic.” To give you an idea: in 2019, around 8 million passengers departed or landed at Charleroi.
Security Masters also works behind the scenes
Security Masters takes care of a wide range of tasks at Charleroi Airport. “There is the guarding of the car park and the first check before the travellers enter the entrance hall”, says Filip Pellens. “This is followed by the actual control of the passengers, the ticket checks and so on.”
In one day Security Masters grew from 200 to over 600 employees.
Passengers have to deal with those activities directly. But Security Masters also works behind the scenes at Charleroi airport. “We check all the baggage, the crews, the other staff, the suppliers, the contractors that carry out work at the airport, all the airport cars and trucks. And we also take care of the perimeter control.”
Security Masters is active 24/7 at Charleroi Airport
That means Security Masters is active around the clock at Charleroi airport. “That’s true for the patrols as well as for a number of peripheral surveillance posts. Passenger checks take place between 4 AM and 10 PM. There is a significant peak between 6 AM and 10 AM, when most flights depart, and another smaller peak in the afternoon.”
The smooth start-up is also remarkable because Charleroi is the first airport where Security Masters takes charge of security. Previously, the company with headquarters in Antwerp mainly focused on the security of port terminals, ships, logistics and industrial and (petro)chemical companies. Security Masters developed activities in the ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Ostend and Ghent.
Since joining Multi Masters Group in 2018, the focus has broadened. “Thanks to the financial and economic clout of this international group, we see this as an excellent opportunity to consolidate the growth of our company into the future and also to venture into opportunities outside the ports,” Filip Pellens said at the time.
Thanks to Samsic Airport
So now they have succeeded. “Partly thanks to the strength of the group”, emphasises Filip Pellens. “During the start-up in Charleroi we were able to fall back on the airport expertise of our sister company Mobility Masters. And during the past few months a delegation of Samsic, the French parent company of Multi Masters Group, has been present in Charleroi almost constantly to support us.”
Samsic Airport offers a wide range of services to airports: security, baggage handling, cleaning, PRM supervision, etc. And all this at 34 airports across Europe and the rest of the world. Among others in the US, Canada, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, La Réunion and Qatar.
Security Masters sets new goals
With the expansion into the aviation sector, an important objective of Security Masters has been realised. Is Filip Pellens’ hunger now satisfied? “We have had a very busy few months. This year we started up our Safety Masters department. Our fire and safety guards have started work in a large tank storage company in the port of Antwerp. We recently started guarding an international food company in the Antwerp region. And then came our security project at Charleroi airport. So our first objective is to consolidate, to ensure that all these projects remain on track. But whether our hunger is satisfied? We will continue to focus on the port and industrial sectors. And there are still other airports, aren’t there”, concludes Filip Pellens.