Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Bart Lekeu - Translation: Marc Arys   © sbap 2017

After the success encountered in 2014 and the involvement in aviation in Belgium, the Ministry of the Flemish Region decided to reiterate the concept. So on April 22, Flanders airports and aeronautical institutions opened their doors to the general public.
This initiative was taken not only to introduce the world of aviation but also to arouse vocations to future workers and a good many would love to embrace a career in this quite particular world.
One has also to emphasize that the four airports located in Flanders are the spine of the economy providing some 41.000 jobs, straight and third-hand, and yield yearly about 3,2 billions of euros.
This year visitors were allowed to access the airports of Brussels, Antweren-Deurne, Brugge-Oostende and Kortrijk-Wevelgem to discover a great number of crafts and specialisations linked to the aviation community, ranging from the mechanic to the pilot, including controllers, firemen, handlers and much more attractive opportunities.

The success of 2014 led other organizations to also take part in this event, such as the FLAG (Flemish Aerospace Group), present in constructions and aeronautical activities or the VVMV (Vereniging Vlaamse Motorvliegclubs - Organisation of Flemish Motor Flying Clubs). This latter was created to gather the various aero clubs of the northern part of the country allowing, through a joint management, to access the world of aviation at democratic ratings. So 9 aeroclubs opened their doors, namely at Deurne, Zwartberg, Hechtel, Hoevenen, Koksijde, Wevelgem, Zoersel, Goetsenhoven et Grimbergen.
Aviation in Belgium is not only confined to industries, aero clubs or airline companies but also includes military aviation and our Air Force was certainly present on all the scenes with C-130H, Seaking, NH90, Agusta and Embraer. For the Air Force this day was the ideal showcase within the pursuance of its recruitment program. Let us not forget the slogan from some years ago... a F-16 fighter aircraft provides 70 various crafts in this amazing world.
In all, this 'Aeronautical day' was an excellent initiative, sadly only billeted to the Flemish regional level. But aviation industry in the Walloon region is not staying behind; just have a look at the airports of Liège or Charleroi and the floweret of our high-tech industries Sabca and Sonaca.
Perhaps is this a dream without a successful outcome, but why not have a similar event on a national scale? The question stays open and it is now up to the federal level to answer it.
So here you have some pictures of Brussels Airport and the especially created hub for the event.

The HUB (© Serge Van Heertum)
 Loading demonstration by DHL Boeing B57-200PCF for the demonstration
 Loading team Containerized loading
 Belgian Air Force with the C-130H "National Rivets"
  The F-16A FA05 also present for public cockpit visit What a sensation to be in a jet fighter for the children!
 Brussels Airlines was present with one of the four decorated planes: "Magritte" A portrait of the artist on the body
 This is not a pipe...but the right engine... The Skybird...Magritte motto
 The police air support unit was present with the MD520 In service since the year 2000
 The National Airport fire fighters Fire crawler
 Important matter, the runway friction measurement Runway snow fighter
 Another bigger snow killer engine I would not like to be a small snow crystal
 Really important in winter condition, the de-icing The modern working station. Years ago the engineer was in a open basket...
in the winter, the wind, the rain, the snow...
 Some exhibition booth: DHL Competition for young people...how to load an AKE
 Belgocontrol: The heart of air traffic 3D Virtual flight simulation
 Brussels Airlines: yes we got the extra smile! The Sabena successor in model
 TUI the Brussels low cost company A general view on the event
Brussels Airlines tour (© Bart Lekeu)
 A visit in the Brussels Airlines hangar was possible Boroscopy demonstration
 The A330 nose landing gear Other view
 The lock system A visit on board was also a must
 A view of the hangar Inside the A330
 Brussels Airlines facilities Do you know why the logo count 14 balls?
 The long haul backbone of Brussels Airlines Brussels Airlines totalize nine A330 aircraft (6 x 300 series and 3 x 200 series)
 A big one...isn'it? This day was a success
 To conclude...maybe the next event will be on National scale..

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