Just Culture improves air traffic safety

To skeyes, the creation of a Just Culture Platform is a boost for the efforts that have been made in recent years in the field of air traffic safety. 

Air traffic controllers are encouraged to report all incidents with a view to learning lessons for the whole sector and thereby further increasing aviation safety. In order to encourage incident reporting, it is important, in the framework of a Just Culture, that incident reporters are protected from prosecution. Gross negligence or wilful omissions are of course not covered by that rule.

The Just Culture is clearly bearing fruit within skeyes. This culture of reporting the slightest incident has led to a continuous improvement of procedures and processes which has resulted in a notable and noticeable reduction in the number of serious incidents and thus a significant improvement in aviation safety.

Johan Decuyper,CEO: “skeyes has been applying Just Culture in its operations for many years. It was at the request of skeyes that the principle was incorporated earlier into legislation. In this way, air traffic controllers are protected in performing their jobs. That certainty prevents them from making decisions with the idea that they can be prosecuted for this or that action. On the other hand, the information they provide on incidents they report is invaluable for air traffic safety. That information must not go to waste.”

The proposal for the creation of a Just Culture Platform also came from skeyes. It includes staff members of the AAIU(Be) (the cell that investigates aviation incidents) and of the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority, the contact magistrate of the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Safety Managers of both the Ministry of Defence, skeyes, the Belgian airports and aviation operators. Air traffic controllers and air navigation service technicians and professional pilots also delegate representatives to the Platform.

In the Platform, experts from the sector, together with the Public Prosecutor's Office, will thoroughly discuss the incidents and assess them against the Just Culture principle. In this way, the Public Prosecutor's Office acquires practical insights that can help it when it comes to making judgements in this extremely complex matter.

 In order to guarantee the complete objectivity and independence of Justice, all incidents are discussed anonymously. All members of the Platform are also bound by secrecy concerning the discussions within the body.

Johan Decuyper,CEO: “skeyes sees the establishment of the Platform as an anchoring of the practice as it has been applied for many years and an important development in Just Culture, following the legalisation of its principle.”



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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. 


Tervuursesteenweg 303 1820 Steenokkerzeel Belgium

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