Belgocontrol did well: en-route traffic record and very few delays

The number of air traffic movements controlled by Belgocontrol's CANAC2 centre over the first ten months of the year has never been as high as in 2017. The half million movements mark was reached at the end of October, i.e. a growth of more than 5% compared to the same period last year. Despite this increase, Belgocontrol managed to maintain its low level of delays for en-route flights.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 


Besides the control towers of Belgian airports, Belgocontrol also manages en-route traffic in Belgium and Luxembourg up to 8,000 metres high. Air traffic controllers of the national control centre CANAC2 located in Steenokkerzeel deal with this task and the EUROCONTROL centre in Maastricht takes it over above 8,000 metres.

The global air traffic growth is also felt at Belgocontrol. During the first ten months of the year, the CANAC2 air traffic controllers ensured the safety of 505,108 flights, which means an average of more than 1,600 aircraft per day. This is an increase of 5.4% compared to the same period last year. Previous records date back to 2008 and 1999.

The summer holidays were a period with intense activity: 112,330 movements were totalled in July and August, against 108,128 movements during the same period in 2016. This represents an increase of nearly 4%. The monthly volume recorded in July was even the highest in ten years (57,049 movements).

Less than 11 seconds delay per flight

The average en-route delay per flight managed at Belgocontrol’s CANAC2 centre was only 0.18 minutes, or less than 11 seconds per aircraft between January and September 2017. By way of comparison, this is seven times less than the average of FABEC countries’ en-route centres (Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland and EUROCONTROL Maastricht). From January to September, the average en-route delay per flight in FABEC was 1.29 minutes, or more than 77 seconds.

As regards the reasons for delay on which air traffic control has an impact (airspace management, capacity, etc.), Belgocontrol was even the most performing one in FABEC over the first nine months of the year with only 6 seconds delay per flight, for an average of 51 seconds per aircraft in FABEC.

Belgocontrol only generated 0.5% of en-route flight delays in Europe while managing 2% of en-route air traffic in Europe.