Belgium’s Belgocontrol has changed its name to skeyes to both celebrate its 20th anniversary and express a new corporate culture.
In 1998 the Regie der Luchtwegen/Régie des Voies Aériennes turned into the autonomous public company Belgocontrol which although fully owned by the federal government acts independently with its own board of directors and executive committee.
Its air traffic controllers have managed around 20 million flights in the past 20 years during which time it has achieved some major milestones that have contributed to improved operability and service provision.“But the world of aviation and air traffic control is in constant evolution and Belgocontrol is adapting to those changing circumstances. That way it safeguards its future in an international competitive environment,” the provider said.
Since 2014 Belgocontrol’s executive committee, headed by its chief executive Johan Decuyper in close collaboration with a board headed by president Renaud Lorand, developed a future-oriented vision, mission and strategy based on three pillars: partnering with our customers, partnering with our staff and building a future-proof company.”The first and key mission of Belgocontrol is and remains to guarantee the safety of air traffic. Although that role often goes unnoticed, it is absolutely crucial to air traffic. Throughout the history of Belgocontrol, the company has been proved a vital link in the air traffic chain,” it said.
“That is why the past few years Belgocontrol has been investing heavily in reliable systems and why it continues to establish procedures designed to keep guaranteeing business continuity in all possible scenarios. That guarantee is invaluable to the various stakeholders. It is also the basis for mutual trust in a collaboration in which all partners have an interest to further strengthen the aviation sector as one of the major economic sectors in our country.”By the end of 2019 Belgocontrol will employ around 900 staff, with plenty of new colleagues having joined us over the past few years. Management has also introduced a modern corporate culture, in consultation with staff members. Belgocontrol is also increasingly becoming a modern employer promoting a good work/life balance for its staff.
Belgocontrol is also closely following technological developments in the aviation sector and said it is researching the possibility of digital towers. “Other air traffic control agencies in Europe are already using them and Belgocontrol can and will not miss that boat,” it said.
At an economic level, aside from the ever growing market of air traffic, a very dynamic sector of unmanned air traffic or drones is being developed. Belgocontrol said it attaches particular importance to safe drone traffic and at a later stage also to the integration of that new air traffic in traditional air traffic. Belgocontrol is already participating in a large number of projects that explore the possibilities drones have to offer, so as to draw the necessary lessons from it for air traffic control.
Belgocontrol said it is also extremely aware of its societal role. Attention is drawn to combining economic and ecological interests, and justifiably so. Locally, by reconciling the airports’ growth with the living conditions around them. And in a wider context, by saving on fuel, complying with noise standards or cooperating in developing renewable energy sources (wind turbines). Belgocontrol is an active partner in various projects that help achieve those objectives or that research how to achieve them. That way Continuous Descent Operations or ‘green landings’ can be applied as much as possible.
Another challenge for the future is the unification of the airspace. In our own country that will be achieved by aligning the civil and military airspace. That is why both air traffic control centres – Belgocontrol and military air traffic control – will be cooperating together at Steenokkerzeel by the end of 2019.
“At a European level, Belgocontrol is cooperating proactively in unification, which implies optimisation, of the complete European airspace so as to increase capacity but in the meantime keep ensuring safety,” it said.