Belgocontrol doubles Charleroi Airport capacity in low visibility conditions

Thanks to new procedures implemented by Belgocontrol, Brussels South Charleroi Airport will be able to safely manage twice as many flights in low visibility conditions.

Until now, air traffic controllers in Charleroi could only handle one aircraft at a time in low visibility conditions. In 2017 the Low Visibility Procedure (LVP) had to be applied for 32 days in total. As from tomorrow (Thursday 4 January), air traffic controllers will be able to guide two aircraft at a time in such cases. This means that the distance between two airplanes will be reduced, of course without compromising safety. The same procedures are already operational at Liège Airport.

This doubling of capacity is made possible by new procedures that were developed by Belgocontrol in collaboration with Charleroi Airport. These procedures can be applied in the short term and involve interaction between air traffic services (Belgocontrol) and airport authorities (BSCA), which provide logistical support to guide aircraft to their boarding gates or runway threshold.

Investments in the regional airports

In the medium term (2019-2020) Belgocontrol will partner with regional airports (Charleroi and Liège) in the implementation of A-SMGCS (Advanced-Surface Movement Guidance and Control System). The ground-radar system A-SMGCS is a radar surveillance tool enabling air traffic controllers to control and guide aircraft and vehicles on the ground, in the event of low visibility at the aerodrome. In reduced visibility conditions, this technology will optimize capacity while maintaining an optimal safety level.

A-SMGCS will be set up in 2019 in Liège and in 2020 in Charleroi. It is financed by SOWAER for a total amount of six million euro.

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO, emphasizes the investments made by Belgocontrol in the regional airports: “Together with our various partners, we are fully cooperating in the development of regional airports. We are continuously improving our operations to better serve airports, airlines and passengers.” ​

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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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