Belgocontrol doubles Charleroi Airport capacity in low visibility conditions

Belgocontrol doubles Charleroi Airport capacity in low visibility conditions

Thanks to new procedures implemented by Belgocontrol, Brussels South Charleroi Airport will be able to safely manage twice as many flights in low visibility conditions.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Until now, air traffic controllers in Charleroi could only handle one aircraft at a time in low visibility conditions. In 2017 the Low Visibility Procedure (LVP) had to be applied for 32 days in total. As from tomorrow (Thursday 4 January), air traffic controllers will be able to guide two aircraft at a time in such cases. This means that the distance between two airplanes will be reduced, of course without compromising safety. The same procedures are already operational at Liège Airport.

This doubling of capacity is made possible by new procedures that were developed by Belgocontrol in collaboration with Charleroi Airport. These procedures can be applied in the short term and involve interaction between air traffic services (Belgocontrol) and airport authorities (BSCA), which provide logistical support to guide aircraft to their boarding gates or runway threshold.

Investments in the regional airports

In the medium term (2019-2020) Belgocontrol will partner with regional airports (Charleroi and Liège) in the implementation of A-SMGCS (Advanced-Surface Movement Guidance and Control System). The ground-radar system A-SMGCS is a radar surveillance tool enabling air traffic controllers to control and guide aircraft and vehicles on the ground, in the event of low visibility at the aerodrome. In reduced visibility conditions, this technology will optimize capacity while maintaining an optimal safety level.

A-SMGCS will be set up in 2019 in Liège and in 2020 in Charleroi. It is financed by SOWAER for a total amount of six million euro.

Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO, emphasizes the investments made by Belgocontrol in the regional airports: “Together with our various partners, we are fully cooperating in the development of regional airports. We are continuously improving our operations to better serve airports, airlines and passengers.”