Monday, July 17, 2017
Belgocontrol acceded to the request of the airport of Kortrijk-Wevelgem to operate IFR-operations (Instrument Flight Rules) again. Since a negative audit by the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), the airport could no longer operate IFR-flights. Belgocontrol has established an action plan with the managers of the airport, which is mainly used for general and business aviation.
The action plan envisages, among other things, to maintain the technical installations, to select, train and qualify six AFISO staff (Aerodrome Flight Information Service Officer), to put meteo staff at disposal and to elaborate new PBN flight procedures (Performance Based Navigation), which are based on satellite navigation for runway 24 of the airport.
Unlike at the other airports where Belgocontrol is active, the public company will not ensure air traffic control at Kortrijk, but rather provide flight and warning information services. In practical terms, the AFISOs will offer information to pilots during operational hours at the airport, but they are not authorized to give instructions (like air traffic controllers do).
After the validation by the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority and the Belgian Supervising Authority for Air Navigation Services (BSA-ANS), the Belgocontrol staff members will take up their responsibilities at Kortrijk on 9 November 2017.
Belgocontrol has invested a total of 1.2 million euro in the project (feasibility study, security analysis, AFISO and meteo training and qualifications, maintenance of meteo installations, development of new procedures, etc.).
Johan Decuyper, Belgocontrol CEO: "With its action at Kortrijk, Belgocontrol shows its deep commitment to the aviation sector in Belgium as well as its know-how. Together with the airport managers, we have established an action plan that meets their needs. We have also demonstrated our innovation and flexibility – for example by offering new services such as the AFISO training. In the context of the Masterplan of the airport of Kortrijk, we will continue to deploy new technological tools to help the airport in its future development."