Belgocontrol tests the Continuous Descent Operations (CDO) in Charleroi and Liège airports


Starting today, the pilots of selected airlines will be able to land under the CDO procedure at the regional airports of Charleroi and Liège. A test period must demonstrate whether this procedure is permanently applicable under certain conditions.

In a CDO (Continuous Descent Operations), an airplane follows a constant descending line in the landing phase, requiring less engine power and less fuel consumption. And therefore lower CO2 emissions and less noise emissions, compared to a level descent. This landing procedure is already used in part, the purpose of these tests being to formalise and use it as often as possible without obviously compromising safety.

A thorough study was carried out in advance by Belgocontrol, the airports concerned (BSCA and Liège Airport), the competent authorities (SPW, SOWAER and ACNAW) and selected airlines which applied for participation in the project (Ryanair, TUI and Wizzair in Charleroi, ASL and TUI in Liège).

The formal CDO procedure will now be tested by the airlines involved until the end of August. During this period, Belgocontrol will offer their pilots the possibility to land in CDO if conditions (weather, traffic density, …) allow. If these tests prove positive, the procedure would be installed permanently and for all airlines from the end of this year.

The tests will also make it possible to estimate the environmental impact of the CDO implementation: how many times the procedure can be applied, how much fuel can be saved by landing, the reduction of CO2 emissions, what are the effects in terms of noise emissions, etc.

Belgocontrol’s CEO Johan Decuyper said:

Belgocontrol wants to fully play its societal role. We are very concerned about the ecological aspect of our business. CDOs are an important way for us to reconcile the economic interests of the aviation sector and their impact on the environment of airports. We are therefore exploring all the possibilities that can improve the living conditions of local residents, in close collaboration with our partners in the aeronautics sector.

Thursday 2 February 2017


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