Questions about airport security after Brussels attacks

Security Expert Weighs In About Attacks At Brussels Airport

Two explosions, one of them reportedly caused by a suicide bomber, ripped through Brussels' Zaventem airport on Tuesday, killing 11, according to Belgian officials.

SEE ALSO: Explosions rock Brussels airport and metro station, 28 reported dead

A spokesman for the Brussels Metro said 15 people were killed and 55 injured in an explosion on a train later, The Associated Press reported.

At the airport, the blasts tore through the public reception area where people gather to check in and see their loved ones off or welcome them back.

Video footage shows smoke billowing from the airport after the blasts and people running away from the scene.

Even if the area after security is obviously harder to get to with explosives, aviation security expert Julian Bray told Mashable on Tuesday thateverybody is under observation from the moment they step inside an airport.

In addition to uniformed officers, plainclothes security patrol the public reception area in most airports, and security monitor surveillance cameras in real time.

"But, obviously, if an explosive device is packed into a bag or suicide vest, that makes it very difficult to detect," Bray said.

See more from the terrifying attacks:

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Brussels Attacks: Explosions at airport, Maelbeek metro station
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Questions about airport security after Brussels attacks
People are evacuated from Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, on March 22, 2016. after at least 13 people have been killed by two explosions in the departure hall of Brussels Airport. / AFP / Belga / VIRGINIE LEFOUR / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read VIRGINIE LEFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
#BREAKING: Two loud explosions at #Zaventem airport in #Brussels https://t.co/JFw9RGLjnh
This video footage captures the aftermath of the explosions at Zaventem airport, #Brussels https://t.co/wcsNygh91Y
Brussels aftermath video shows survivors huddled together, telling one another: "It's okay". https://t.co/3Y7lEXrrjP https://t.co/KdqFXR9Wft
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22: Passengers are evacuated from Zaventem Bruxelles International Airport after a terrorist attack on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. At least 13 people are though to have been killed after Brussels airport was hit by two explosions whilst a Metro station was also targeted. The attacks come just days after a key suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was captured in Brussels. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
A private security guard helps a wounded women outside the Maalbeek metro station in Brussels on March 21, 2016 after a blast at this station located near the EU institutions. Belgian firefighters said at least 26 people had died after 'enormous' blasts rocked Brussels airport and a city metro station today, as Belgium raised its terror threat to the maximum level. / AFP / Michael VILLA (Photo credit should read MICHAEL VILLA/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on March 22, 2016 shows a Belgian police vehicle driving past passengers who are evacuating the Brussels Airport of Zaventem. At least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport on March 22, 2016, Belgian media quoted the federal prosecutor as saying. Officials were not immediately available to confirm the figure when contacted by AFP. The federal police earlier confirmed one death. / AFP / Belga / Jonas Roosens / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read JONAS ROOSENS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on March 22, 2016 shows a Belgian police vehicle driving past passengers who are evacuating the Brussels Airport of Zaventem. At least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport on March 22, 2016, Belgian media quoted the federal prosecutor as saying. Officials were not immediately available to confirm the figure when contacted by AFP. The federal police earlier confirmed one death. / AFP / Belga / Jonas Roosens / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read JONAS ROOSENS/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on March 22, 2016 shows smoke rising from the Maalbeek underground, in Brussels, following a blast at the station close to the capital's European quarter. The Brussels metro service was being shut down on March 22, its operator said. The measure came after a rush-hour explosion at Maalbeek station with TV images showing black smoke pouring from the station entrance. / AFP / Belga / Seppe KNAPEN / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read SEPPE KNAPEN/AFP/Getty Images)
A security perimeter has been set, on March 22, 2016 near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22: Broken glass and blood is seen beside signage outside an entrance to Maelbeek metro station following todays attack on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. At least 34 people are thought to have been killed after Brussels airport and a Metro station were targeted by explosions. The attacks come just days after a key suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was captured in Brussels. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22: Broken glass is seen outside an entrance to Maelbeek metro station following todays attack on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. At least 34 people are thought to have been killed after Brussels airport and a Metro station were targeted by explosions. The attacks come just days after a key suspect in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, was captured in Brussels. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Policemen stand guard at the entrance of a security perimeter set near Maalbeek metro station, on March 22, 2016 in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescue teams evacuate wounded people outside the Maalbeek metro station in Brussels on March 22, 2016 after a blast at this station located near the EU institutions. Belgian firefighters said at least 26 people had died after 'enormous' blasts rocked Brussels airport and a city metro station today, as Belgium raised its terror threat to the maximum level. / AFP / - (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers evacuated after blast at #Maalbeek metro station in #Brussels via @EurActiv https://t.co/O3W8C2rpPm https://t.co/XmIoeKfE9F
People are evacuated from Brussels airport in Zaventem on March 22, 2016 following twin blasts. A string of explosions rocked Brussels airport and a city metro station, killing at least 21 people in apparently coordinated attacks, officials said. == BELGIUM OUT == / AFP / Belga / DIRK WAEM / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)
A man with blood stains on his sweater leaves Brussels airport in Zaventem on March 22, 2016 following twin blasts. A string of explosions rocked Brussels airport and a city metro station, killing at least 21 people in apparently coordinated attacks, officials said. == BELGIUM OUT == / AFP / Belga / DIRK WAEM / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)
Amateur footage shows scene at #Brussels airport after explosions (video: Bart van Meele) https://t.co/v29k9dvMiM
Passengers are evacuated from Brussels airport, on March 22, 2016 in Zaventem, after at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport.AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS / AFP / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
A victim receives first aid by rescuers, on March 22, 2016 near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
A victim receives first aid by rescuers, on March 22, 2016 near Maalbeek metro station in Brussels, after a blast at this station near the EU institutions caused deaths and injuries. AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22 : Police officers stand guard around the Zaventem Airport after two explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22 : Police officers stand guard around the Zaventem Airport after two explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Passengers are gathered, on March 22, 2016 near Brussels airport in Zaventem, following its evacuation after at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport.AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS / AFP / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22 : Police officers stand guard around the Zaventem Airport after two explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Firefighters arrive at a security perimeter set in the Rue de la Loi near the Maalbeek subway station, in Brussels, on March 22, 2016, after an explosion killed around 10 people, according to spokesman of Brussels' fire brigade A string of explosions rocked Brussels airport and a city metro station on Tuesday, killing at least 13 people, according to media reports, as Belgium raised its terror threat to the maximum level. / AFP / Belga / LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers who were evacuated from the airport wait in Zaventem, on March 22, 2016, after a string of explosions rocked Brussels airport of Zaventem and a city metro station, killing at least 13 people, according to media reports, as Belgium raised its terror threat to the maximum level. / AFP / Belga / SEPPE KNAPEN / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read SEPPE KNAPEN/AFP/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22 : Police officers stand guard around the Zaventem Airport after two explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People are evacuated from Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, on March 22, 2016. after at least 13 people have been killed by two explosions in the departure hall of Brussels Airport. / AFP / Belga / VIRGINIE LEFOUR / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read VIRGINIE LEFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers gather, on March 22, 2016 near Brussels airport in Zaventem , following its evacuation after at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport.AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS / AFP / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Passengers leave with their luggages, on March 22, 2016 near Brussels airport in Zaventem , following its evacuation after at least 13 people were killed and 35 injured as twin blasts rocked the main terminal of Brussels airport.AFP PHOTO / JOHN THYS / AFP / JOHN THYS (Photo credit should read JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 22 : Police officers stand guard around the Zaventem Airport after two explosions went off in Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2016. (Photo by Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A photo taken on March 22, 2016 shows Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, after two explosions rocked the main hall of the airport. At least 13 people have been killed after two explosions occured in the departure hall of Brussels Airport. Government sources speak of a terrorist attack. The terrorist threat level has been heightened to four across the country. / AFP / BELGA / DIRK WAEM / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)
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Bray described Brussels's airport as "very secure" and said law enforcement personnel was likely present at the time of the attacks.

"It's the EU capital with a high number of politicians and officials going through daily," he said, "so security has always been high."

Brooks Tigner, editor of Security Europe and EU and NATO affairs correspondent for Jane's Airport Review who is Brussels based, heard and felt the metro explosion which took place after the airport attack.

He told Mashable that the airport attack will no doubt force EU authorities to rethink airport security.

"The big question now is if [attackers] are going to target public departures areas, what do we do?" he said.

"Will authorities have to [install detection systems] on the arrival deck outside? Or move security to the public receptions hall? Will they start doing one-by-one check-in?" he added. That could mean "queues, queues, queues" and having to arrive at the airport three or four hours ahead of a flight instead of two.

Bray echoed Tigner's remarks, saying if authorities implement too many security measures, "you would literally strangle everything."

As an example, he cited London's Gatwick airport, which recently started searching trucks on the approach to the terminals.

But that may be the route European authorities have to take.

"It becomes a question about stepping up security versus the freedom of movement of people," Tigner said. And after Tuesday's attack Europe is likely to "shift to security."

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