Anniversary of successful cooperation between civil and military air traffic controllers in Steenokkerzeel

Today we are celebrating the first anniversary of the successful CIV-MIL project. The ATCC (Air Traffic Control Centre), formerly located in Gavere (Semmerzake) in East Flanders, landed figuratively on the skeyes site in Steenokkerzeel on 2 December 2019. From then on, the military went to live together with the skeyes' colleagues. Since then, the military and civil air traffic controllers have been working from the same operational room. The colocation brings with it a lot of interesting aspects from a professional perspective, such as the constructive cooperation between military and civilian colleagues in order to use the small but very busy Belgian airspace more efficiently, more safely, more ecologically and more dynamically.

"We are not married, but we do have a cohabitation contract", says Lieutenant-Colonel BEM Jo Heylens, Corps Commander of the ATCC. "Just like life partners, we listen to each other, we have to compromise every now and then, but we work hard together to make this project a success story. " The cohabitation contract contains some joint implementation agreements in different areas such as human resources, operational services, finance, ...

A great deal of progress has been made in cooperation by 2020. Johan Decuyper, CEO of skeyes, looks back on the first year with satisfaction: "It was a challenge to achieve this collaboration. For many years we have tried to implement this collaboration in concrete terms and we have succeeded in doing so. Listening to each other's needs is an important aspect of this colocation”.

In June 2020, an important step was taken towards more civil-military cooperation in the field of air traffic control services with the commissioning of the new "supervisor suite". Bringing together  skeyes and Defence supervisors is a key enabler, a crucial step for further cooperation between the two partners. The direct interaction between the supervisors ensures that coordination and communication are faster and clearer, meeting  both parties’ needs and allowing an even more optimal use of airspace.

Within the framework of the flexible use of airspace in Belgium, the Airspace Management Cell (AMC) has been operational since 21 September 2020. This is a joint civil-military "airspace management cell" in which permanent consultation is crucial. The CIV-MIL coordination will increase the safety and capacity of airspace and improve the efficiency and flexibility of civil and military flight operations.

Cooperation is also increasing in the field of disseminating aeronautical information - Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) - and training.

Dominique Dehaene

skeyes - Communication Manager & Spokesperson

Audrey Dorigo

Porte-Parole, skeyes

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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. 


Tervuursesteenweg 303 1820 Steenokkerzeel Belgium

+32 2 206 21 11