Belgocontrol hosts Eurocontrol conference on aviation safety

Safety is the top priority in air traffic control. That is why Eurocontrol will be holding a conference on the subject at the end of the month. It will be ​ hosted at Belgocontrol, which is anything but a coincidence.

Granted, aviation safety covers many aspects. It is extremely difficult to address all of them in the span of just one conference, even if it lasts for three days (27-29 September). So Eurocontrol has chosen one particular topic to cover in depth: ‘People in Control’.

Eurocontrol wants to focus on the human factors that enter into the equation when air traffic controllers take crucial decisions, which is certainly the case with air navigation. The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation will offer participants a diverse program, with expert keynote speakers, debates and a play.

The play will serve as a starting point for the conference. The story shows how a brother and a sister, who work together in a nuclear power plant, act in an emergency. Afterwards, the audience will evaluate what they have seen.

Safety experts from Europe and the US

Over the two following days the keynote speakers will tie in with that main theme. They all are leaders in their field of expertise: Steven Shorrock (Human Factors Specialist at Eurocontrol), professor David Woods (Ohio State University), professor Erik Hollnagel (University of Southern Denmark), Sebastian Däunert (Incident Investigator at DFS), professor Chris Johnson (Glasgow University) and Alain Du Bois (Safety Manager at Belgocontrol).

This conference will welcome staff from air traffic control organisations from all over Europe. Overall, some 120 people will attend the conference.

Belgocontrol not chosen by coincidence

It is not a coincidence that Belgocontrol will host the conference. The past few years our company has been investing heavily in safety. That policy bore fruit last year: not a single serious incident for which Belgcontrol was responsible took place in the Belgian airspace. Moreover, Belgocontrol hosted a safety meeting earlier this year for the press among others, to explain the contributing factors in ensuring the safety of air traffic. The Eurocontrol conference will continue in that vein.

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO: “Across the world, air traffic controllers have an enormous responsibility to bear. They are trained to respond adequately to crisis situations. However, we can never learn enough about human behaviour in difficult circumstances. It is important and instructive to exchange experiences in that area, especially in a global industry such as ours. It all contributes to the safety of international aviation.”

(c) picture: EUROCONTROL

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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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