After the war the airport near Melsbroek started to expand along with the increasing interest in civilian aviation. in 1995 a railway station was even constructed to connect the central railway station in brussels with the airport. The national carrier at the time SABENA, even offered an unprecedented innovation for its time-integrated passenger baggage service. You board the train, check your bags in then and there, and they end up on the plane with you. That is a convenience, which, unfortunately, is no longer offered today.
The actual location of the airport near Zaventem was chosen in 1956 when a decision was made to construct an entirely new airport, since Brussels was to host the World Expo in 1958 and the old Melsbroek terminal could not handle the expected passenger traffic. The new airport was opened in time for the expo. The terminal, which is part of what is known today as Pier1, had modern architecture with big round openings for windows and special roof terraces, where for a small price people colud wavw their goodbyes to the passengers.
The development and expansion of the Brussels Airport has been a complex process, driven by the market curve. That is why you can see so many remnants of different eras and buildings with different architectural styles. in the 1990s two new terminal, Pier1 and Pier 2, were constructed. The first one incorporates and preserves parts of the original building from the 1950s. The second terminal is used for transoceanic flights and flights to non-Schengen countries. For historic reasons, Brussels is a destination from which you can easily and quickly reach the African continent. Another distinctive feature of the Brussels Airport is its punctuality - the airport received the 'most punctual airport' award for 2006 and 2007. if you dont work for a european institution and would like to visit brussels, do so over the weekend - thar way you can avoid the boring crowds of suits scurrying about the gates.