Belgocontrol acted correctly during the incident on 5 October 2016

The independent report on an incident at Brussels Airport where two aircraft flew too closely to one another, confirms that Belgocontrol has acted entirely correctly according to all conventional instructions.

On 5 October 2016 an aircraft took off from runway 07R, against the directives of the air traffic controller who was working at that time. Moreover, a different aircraft was simultaneously descending in order to land on runway 01. The air traffic controller immediately ordered the landing aircraft to abort its landing and perform a go-around. That is standard procedure where the aircraft, instead of landing, climbs to a limited height and then approaches again to land according to the procedures.

As is the case for each serious incident or accident in aviation, this occurrence has been investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU). That unit examines the facts and hears all the parties involved before drawing conclusions and making recommendations so as to prevent similar incidents in the future. The report of the AAIU was published toay. It clearly states that Belgocontrol has acted correctly throughout the incident. The air traffic controller’s decision to reroute the landing aircraft was the only right one that could have been made.

The Belgian Civil Aviation Authority and the Minister of Mobility Bellot had already previously stated that the runway choice at that time complied with the instructions. Because of the wind direction and speed, runways 07R and 01 had to be used at that moment.

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO: “Once again, it has been demonstrated that our air traffic controllers act professionally and correctly, even in difficult circumstances. In that way, we guarantee the safety of air traffic on a daily basis, a mission that is often underestimated. This kind of incidents clearly illustrates that. Last year not a single category A (‘serious’) or B (‘important’) incident was registered for which Belgocontrol was responsible”.

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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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