Belgocontrol ensures service provision at Ostend airport through collaboration with NATS

For each of the five airports where Belgocontrol manages the air traffic, the company elaborates procedures – a business continuity plan – so as to guarantee service provision in case of technical difficulties or other incidents. Last year such a plan entered into force at the airports of Charleroi and Liège. Up next is Ostend: the new procedure was introduced on 25 May in collaboration with British air traffic controller NATS.

The purpose of a continuity procedure is to make sure that aircraft can still perform landings and take-offs at our regional airports in case of (electrical) failures or other similar incidents. The number of movements however, will be restricted to 6 per hour in such situations.

In order to continue providing its services, Belgocontrol calls on its neighbouring countries’ air traffic control services. For departures from and arrivals at Ostend airport such an agreement has been concluded with the British air navigation service provider NATS (National Air Traffic Service). Whenever necessary, the aircraft will be guided by the control centre from Ostend up to the Belgian border, at which point the Swanwick (GB) air traffic controllers will take over in order for them to continue their trajectory. A special emergency file with the modified flight paths and profiles has been drawn up in collaboration with Eurocontrol (Haren). The latter will initiate the procedures at the request of Belgocontrol so that the planned flights can continue to take place.

For Charleroi such an agreement was entered into last year with the French air navigation service provider DSNA (Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne), for Liège with DFS (Deutsche Flugsicherung).

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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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