Brussels National Airport...150 feet high !

 

Text : Serge Van Heertum - Pictures : Serge Van Heertum & Eddy Devroey - SBAP

 

Everywhere in the aviation world the most important factor is the security provided by the air traffic control institutions.

In Belgium this matter is provided by the state company Belgocontrol who is in charge of all Belgian air traffic that includes the local traffic of the five Belgian national airports (Brussels, Charlerois, Liège, Antwerpen-Deurne and Oostende ).

Created in 1998, Belgocontrol is responsible for all national movements from ground level to flight level 245 (8000 meters) and the flight levels between 135 and 245 (4500 meters to 8000 meters) above Luxemburg. All flight levels situated above 8000 meters are in charge of Eurocontrol based in the Netherland at Maastricht.

When Belgocontrol was created in 1998, the air traffic in Belgium and particularly at Brussels National airport, was in full expanssion. Sadly enough some years later in 2001, a year that can be called a black year for aviation, there was a huge decrease of traffic.  2001 was the year of the attack on the twin towers in New York but also the year of the bankruptcy of two big actors in the Belgian skies, Citybird and the national company Sabena (the most important customer of Belgocontrol at this moment). Year after year the traffic in Belgium is fluctuating with ups and downs, and the actual amount of movements can be compared to the level of the year 1995…15 years ago!  For example: 326.042 movements in 2000 for 231.668 movements in 2009, a decrease of 28,95%

Belgocontrol provides other services like aeronautical information, meteorological information in real time, special aviation formation and provides the rules and work methods of communication and navigation systems.

The visible part of the air traffic control is of course the control tower. The controllers working there are responsible for the ground traffic on the airport but also for the approach (they are taking the flight over at 9 kilometers from the airport) and the departures until the planes are airborne. Before the final approach and when the plane leaves the airport area, the control is done by air controllers located at Brussels in the CANAC center (Computer Assisted National Air Traffic Control). They are responsible to keep imperatively the security distances between the planes in the horizontal plan (spacing) and in the vertical plan (flight levels).

Due to the permanent evolution and modernization in the aeronautical world, Belgocontrol  opened in 2009 the CANAC2 control center. This center includes all the most recent standards in air traffic control and new interoperability work concept in one of the most modern working environments. In one word the main goal of Belgocontrol is the security of passengers and crew members during the flight, but also the security of the population being over flown.

 

SBAP had the opportunity to visit the Brussels National Airport tower (and make some unusual photo-shoot at 150 feet high).

Therefore we would like to thank Belgocontrol authorities and in particular Mister Guy Viselé (official spokesman of Belgocontrol) our guide for all the interesting explanation about air traffic control and the specific work of the air traffic controller.

 

For more infos about Belgoconcrol and eventual job carreer :

 

The new Brussels National control tower was inaugurated begin 2005
(Serge Van Heertum)
360° view on Brussels National
(Eddy Devroey)
   
Ground movements in real time screen
(Serge Van Heertum)
Air traffic around the airport screen
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
The wind situation updated every 2 minutes
(Eddy Devroey)
Radio communication touch screen, easyer for the controllers
(Eddy Devroey)
   
The village of Steenokkerzeel near the control center
(Eddy Devroey)
Mister Guy Viselé, Belgocontrol spokesman and fabulous guide !
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
The CANAC buildings (the new CANAC 2 is situated left on the view)
(Serge Van Heertum)
Inside the CANAC 2. A modern work environement
(courtey Belgocontrol)
   
A splendid view from the tower, a dream for the photographers !
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Bare metal Boeing B-757 from American Airlines
(Serge Van Heertum & Eddy Devroey)
   
Who have the priority ???
(Eddy Devroey)
Brussels is the European hub for the Indian Jet Airways company
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
SN Brussels and his Star Alliance Airbus A-319
(Serge Van Heertum)
US Airways Boeing B-757
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Czech Airlines (CSA) new colours and little bit publicity for "CityBank"
(Eddy Devroey)
El-Al Boeing B-737 at landing on runway 25L
(Eddy Devroey)
   
Air Canada with his new light blue colours
(Serge Van Heertum)
American Airlines Boeing B-767 (note the gigantic winglets)
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Brussels is of course the homebase of SN Brussels Airlines
(Serge Van Heertum)
Swiss is also member of the Star Alliance group
(Eddy Devroey)
   
Military traffic is also under the responsability of Belgocontrol. Here two aircraft of the 15th Transport Wing of Melsbroek
(Serge Van Heertum & Eddy Devroey)
   
Another uncle Sam aircraft, a Boeing B-767 from United Airlines
(Serge Van Heertum)
IzAir makes part of the Pegasus charter group
(Eddy Devroey)
   
SN Brussels A-330 en route for an African destination,
the know how of the Belgian Company
(Serge Van Heertum)
Great concentration of the pilots during the taxi with so a large plane
(Eddy Devroey)
   
Delta Airlines Boeing B-767
(Serge Van Heertum)
Wide bodies at holding point 25R
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
The well known Atomnium, sure we are in Brussels
(Serge Van Heertum)
Airbus A-340 from Turkish Airlines in his Star Alliance livery
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
The last arrived in SN Brussels fleet, the OO-SFV
(Serge Van Heertum)
Aegean, a charter company from Greece
(Eddy Devroey)
   
The Turkish charter company Freebird
(Serge Van Heertum)
At landing 25R
(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Wonderfull view from the tower during the landings...(Serge Van Heertum)
   
Short landing turn for this Belgian Air Force C-130H...
(Serge Van Heertum)
...and touch down !
(Serge Van Heertum)
   

 

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