70% of green landings at Brussels Airport in 2016

A new measuring tool helps Belgocontrol obtain precise figures of the number of green landings. In 2016 70% of aircraft landed at Brussels Airport after a continuous descent and with minimal engine power. The CDO procedure (Continuous Descent Operations) allows to reduce noise hindrance, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Belgocontrol’s new measuring tool, that was developed on the basis of recommendations by Eurocontrol, 70% of landings at Brussels Airport in 2016 was performed according to the CDO procedure in the final approach phase (at a 6,000 foot distance from the runway). The procedure that mainly reduces the noise impact of air traffic is called CDO Noise.

Measurements at a higher flight level (10,000 feet) indicate that over half of the aircraft at Brussels Airport performed green landings in 2016. That procedure, called CDO Fuel, in turn helps reducing fuel consumption. ​

Based on theoretical calculations CDO Fuel landings have helped save airline companies about 3,000 ton of fuel over the whole of 2016. By observing that procedure the aircraft serving Brussels Airport have reduced their carbon footprint by emitting 10,000 ton less CO2. Moreover, green landings have a positive impact on the noise levels. Because aircraft are flying for a longer period of time at a high level with minimal engine power, noise hindrance at ground level is reduced by 2 to 3 dB.

First green landings at Brussels Airport in 2014

In June 2014 Belgocontrol implemented the first CDO procedures at Brussels Airport, in close collaboration with ​ Brussels Airlines, TUI fly, Thomas Cook Airlines, DHL, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Brussels Airport. Now, three years later, green landings are performed increasingly, in spite of the complexity and density of the Belgian airspace. Nevertheless, at the hours of peak traffic it is less easy to carry out CDO landings, because of the limitations in place to ensure a smooth and safe air traffic. ​

CDO is a flight technique where aircraft descend without levelling off and with minimal engine power, resulting in a decrease in kerosene consumption and noise levels.

Until now the number of CDO landings was registered manually by the air traffic controllers. The new measuring tool that Belgocontrol uses is based on the analysis of radar data and precisely and automatically detects the landings that are performed in accordance with the CDO procedure. The tool also enables to map aircraft that do not make use of CDO procedures. In the long term a thorough analysis of those data should contribute to reducing the environmental footprint of aviation even more.

Belgocontrol is aware of the environmental issues

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO: “Belgocontrol wishes to fully play its societal role. We invest in projects such as CDO procedures that are aimed to improve our environmental performances. That approach is now bearing fruit. We continue to step up our efforts in collaboration with the other aviation industry actors. At the Liège and Charleroi regional airports for example, CDO procedures are tested as we speak. Next in line, in 2018 and 2019, are the airports of Antwerp and Ostend.”

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About skeyes

skeyes ensures the safety and efficiency of air traffic in Belgium 24/7. The skeyes air traffic controllers manage over 3,000 aircraft every day, which makes up over a million flight movements per year. The autonomous public company is active at the heart of Europe, in one of the busiest and most complex sections of airspace of the continent. skeyes is active at Brussels Airport and at the airports of Antwerp, Charleroi, Kortrijk, Liège and Ostend. Thanks to its CANAC 2 control centre skeyes manages the flight movements above Belgium and a part of Luxembourg up to an altitude of 7,500 metres (*). The company relies on its nearly 900 experienced staff members who are at the service of their customers: airline companies, airports, the aviation sector and the authorities. skeyes also develops innovating services regarding drones and contributes to a sustainable future of the aviation sector, among other things with respect to the environment.

skeyes is a member of FABEC, a joint airspace block (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland) with the aim of improving air navigation efficiency in the heart of Europe in the framework of the Single European Sky.


(*) The upper airspace of the Benelux countries and North West Germany is managed jointly with the EUROCONTROL centre in Maastricht. 


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