Belgocontrol and skyguide join forces in supporting air traffic controllers after incidents

This morning Belgocontrol and the Swiss ANSP skyguide signed a cooperation agreement on the support of air traffic controllers after incidents. By exchanging experiences, both companies want to further develop that assistance and where necessary even support each other after such incidents.

Air traffic incidents can have a heavy impact on air traffic controllers. With their job comes great responsibility and a lot of stress. The mental burden after an incident can be hard to bear. That is why Belgocontrol offers CISM: Critical Incident Stress Management. It is also widely used in other rescue services, such as police and fire departments, where staff is faced with exceptional situations.

CISM offers support to air traffic controllers after an incident so as to help them process it and to accompany them to go back to work again as soon as possible. That support is provided in the first place by colleague air traffic controllers who are especially trained for that and who know first-hand what it is like to be in that situation. Secondly, support can be provided by external experts.

Belgocontrol and skyguide agreed to exchange experiences concerning CISM. After an incident the party involved can report on how the air traffic controllers lived the incident, on which approach they followed in the context of CISM and on the results of that approach. They can also turn to each other for help if they feel they are not able to provide the necessary assistance in their own CISM team because they are too deeply involved. Another possibility is to organize consultations between the air traffic controllers who are the designated persons responsible for CISM.

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO: “We wish to offer maximum support to our air traffic controllers during the most difficult times in their career. Our primary concern in such situations is their well-being. By offering the necessary assistance we want to help them to resume their job as quickly as possible. Moreover, in that way we also guarantee optimum safety of air traffic by only putting air traffic controllers to work who are physically and mentally able to do their job. The collaboration with skyguide can possibly provide us with new insights on the matter.”

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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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