Close to 70% of the landing runways in Belgium equipped with satellite navigation thanks to Belgocontrol

Close to 70% of the landing runways in Belgium equipped with satellite navigation thanks to Belgocontrol

As from now, aircraft will be able to land on Brussels Airport’s runway 19 thanks to satellite navigation. From a total of 18 landing runways at Belgian airports, 12 are currently equipped with these PBN approach procedures (Performance Based Navigation).

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Contrary to conventional navigation, which is based on beacons and instrument landing systems to guide the aircraft, the air navigation of the future uses satellite signals among other things. PBN guidance is 3-dimensional. It is accurate and improves the airports’ accessibility in case conventional equipment is not available.

Belgocontrol has just published a satellite-based navigation approach procedure for runway 19 at Brussels Airport. Runways 25R, 25L and 01 already have one at disposal since March 2017. PBN approach procedures have also been developed for runways 07R and 07L. At the moment, those procedures are published temporarily if circumstances require so (large works at the airport, equipment maintenance, etc.).  

Better than the European average

The first PBN approach procedure in Belgium was introduced in 2015 for runway 11 of Antwerp airport. The airports of Liège and Charleroi followed (satellite-based navigation approach procedures for all runways have been introduced since 2016) as well as Brussels Airport and the airport of Kortrijk in 2017. Today 12 out of the 18 landing runways of the Belgian airports have PBN approach procedures at their disposal – which represents almost 70%. Belgocontrol does better than the European average: according to the latest EUROCONTROL statistics, this type of procedure has been developed for a mere 36% of landing runways in Europe (552 out of 1522). 

PBN approach procedures for Ostend airport are currently being elaborated and should be published soon. The studies for runway 29 at Antwerp and runway 06 at Kortrijk have also started. Publication of those procedures is planned to take place in 2019. This will all be done in cooperation with the airports involved. In the framework of the Single European Sky the European Union requires the satellite-based approach procedures to be introduced for all landing runways by 2024. Belgocontrol should meet the European requirements regarding PBN procedures a lot earlier, five years before the imposed deadline.

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO: “Besides major investments in conventional navigation infrastructures, Belgocontrol is strongly committed to the air navigation of tomorrow, based on satellite technology. With an implementation ratio of almost 70% regarding PBN approach and landing procedures and concrete projects for our airports, we are rated among the star performers of Europe. All airspace users will benefit from this positive evolution.”

Belgocontrol elaborates and publishes the PBN approach procedures together with the airports involved and contributes to their development in that way. The implementation of this technology is co-financed by the European Union, via the Connecting Europe Facility program (CEF) of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA).

Overview of the Belgocontrol PBN approach and landing procedures

Brussels Airport (EBBR)

  • Runways 25 R and L            02/03/2017
  • Runway 01                             02/03/2017
  • Runway 19                             11/10/2018       
  • Runways 07 L and R             temporarily (since 2017)

 Antwerp (EBAW)

  • Runway 11                           12/11/2015
  • Runway 29                           planned in 2019

Charleroi (EBCI)

  • Runway 24                           16/11/2016
  • Runway 06                           16/11/2016

Kortrijk (EBKT)

  • Runway 24                           09/11/2017
  • Runway 06                           planned in 2019

Liège (EBLG)

  • Runways 22 R and L             16/11/2016
  • Runways 04 L and R             16/11/2016

Ostend (EBOS)

  • Runway 26                           planned in 2019
  • Runway 08                           planned in 2019
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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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