Brussels Airport partners strengthen environmental cooperation

Belgocontrol and Brussels Airport Company have signed a cooperation agreement with Brussels Airlines, TUI Fly and DHL, on undertaking joint initiatives that further reduce the environmental impact of airport operations. EUROCONTROL and airport trade association, ACI Europe, support and recognise this initiative on ‘Collaborative Environmental Management (CEM)’ at Brussels Airport.

By signing the cooperation agreement, the five airport partners formalise their long-standing cooperation on environmental issues. By joining forces and aligning all environmental efforts, the airport partners aim to accelerate projects and achieve more in the fields of carbon and noise reduction as well as local air quality. That is why, specialists from the various companies and organisations will meet at regular intervals to launch joint research and environmentally-friendly initiatives.

“In its Strategic Vision 2040, Brussels Airport committed itself to developing the airport in a balanced way. Some measures can be taken by individual companies. However, reducing the environmental impact of our operations requires the expertise, collaboration and commitment of multiple businesses” says Brussels Airport Company CEO, Arnaud Feist.
Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO: “Belgocontrol already took environmental measures in the past. We execute more and more continuous descent operations or “green landings” on several airports. We work closely together with the wind turbine sector to facilitate the construction of wind turbines without risking the safety of air traffic. We collaborate with various universities and research institutions to investigate on other possible measures to further reduce the impact of air traffic on the environment. This CEM collaboration will help us gain new insights and take more initiatives together with our partners.”
CEM signing ceremony: Olivier Jankovic (ACI Europe), Philippe Merlo (EUROCONTROL), Arnaud Feist (Brussels Airport Company), Johan Decuyper (Belgocontrol), Gunther Hofman (TUI fly Benelux), Frédéric Paepe (Brussels Airlines) and Peter Caes (DHL Aviation)
CEM signing ceremony: Olivier Jankovic (ACI Europe), Philippe Merlo (EUROCONTROL), Arnaud Feist (Brussels Airport Company), Johan Decuyper (Belgocontrol), Gunther Hofman (TUI fly Benelux), Frédéric Paepe (Brussels Airlines) and Peter Caes (DHL Aviation)

The ‘collaborative environmental management’ concept (CEM) was developed by EUROCONTROL, the European organisation committed to making air traffic management safer, more efficient, more cost-effective and with a minimal environmental impact. The concept outlines a working arrangement for devising common solutions to environmental challenges at and around airports.

Philippe Merlo, Director European Civil-Military Aviation at EUROCONTROL: “CEM is a practical example of how EUROCONTROL supports aviation – not only now but in the future, too. With CEM, we facilitate collaborative solutions for environmental issues, allowing us to mitigate our sector’s environmental impact and to contribute to high-performance, sustainable airports.”
Olivier Jankovec, Director General, ACI EUROPE: “We are delighted to see Brussels Airport join the increasing number of European airports adopting Collaborative Environmental Management. As detailed in our Recommended Practice on CEM, its value is that it takes into account the interdependencies between different aspects of airport operations, facilitating the creation of new efficiencies that can reduce the environmental impact of air transport. In this way, Brussels Airport’s engagement in CEM is a perfect fit with their recent achievement of becoming a carbon neutral airport operator.”
“As an airline, we take our environmental responsibility very serious. The closer cooperation with key-stakeholders of the airport allows us to join forces and to find common solutions to the environmental challenges we are all facing at and around the airport”, says Christina Foerster, CEO of Brussels Airlines.
Gunther Hofman, Managing Director of TUI fly Benelux: “TUI is the world’s leading tourism business, with a real opportunity to shape the future of sustainable tourism. We recognise our responsibility to pioneer and influence change for more sustainability travel. Our Better Holidays, Better World strategy demonstrates ambitious goals for the future. We already operate the most carbon-efficient airlines in Europe, have a strong history of backing new, Carbon-saving + noise reducing technologies and support progressive climate policies for aviation. The young fleet of TUI fly Benelux includes the most modern aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing 737 MAX. Both aircraft produce significant less noise, use less fuel, fly further and have a strong reduced Carbon footprint. TUIfly and TUI Airways were named ‘ most climate-efficient airline in on medium haul flights’ in the atmosfair Airline Index 2017. We are leading the way by showing that more efficient flying is possible.”

What is ‘collaborative environmental management’? ​ ​  ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ 

EUROCONTROL has developed the concept of Collaborative Environmental Management to support and facilitate the collaboration among core operational stakeholders. This concept has been translated into the CEM Specification with the support of ACI Europe.

The CEM working arrangement provides a platform for discussion and allows core operational stakeholders to identify synergies, quantify impacts and reach compromises from an operational, environmental perspective. In addition, the collaborative approach of the CEM working arrangement can support the search for solutions that ensure the maximum potential for current operations and the sustainable growth of the airport.

This working agreement formalises the collaboration between Belgocontrol, Brussels Airport Company, Brussels Airlines, TUI Fly and DHL to deal with the environmental impacts of their combined operational activities at and around Brussels Airport.

Our working arrangements aim:

  • to look at the short and long term challenges and develop a shared environmental vision and strategy
  • to develop common key performance indicators, action plans to minimize environmental impacts including at least, noise, local air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, the three most critical environmental priorities for airport operators
  • to improve de-icing operations and reduce the associated impacts on environment
  • to promote a better understanding of the business interdependencies between airports, airlines and ANSP (Air Navigation Service Provider)
  • to support sustainable growth of the airport
  • to support ISO 14001:2015 certification (clause 4.2 – Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties), ISO 50001 certification and maintain the Level 3+ status (carbon neutral°) within the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme
  • to propose and validate (simulations, live trials…) new operational concepts based on a win-win sharing of expertise and tools
  • to facilitate compliance to European Single Sky Implementation Plan (LSSIP ENV02 objective)
CEM partners (from the left to the right): ACI Europe, Belgocontrol, EUROCONTROL, TUI Fly Benelux, Brussels Airport Company, DHL Aviation and Brussels Airlines
CEM partners (from the left to the right): ACI Europe, Belgocontrol, EUROCONTROL, TUI Fly Benelux, Brussels Airport Company, DHL Aviation and Brussels Airlines


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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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