In 2018 skeyes, the national air navigation service provider, guided 1,101,145 aircraft in the Belgian airspace and at the Belgian airports. For the first time in history skeyes managed more than 600,000 overflights above our country and Luxembourg. All together more than 34 million passengers and around 1.6 million tons of cargo are concerned. Those too are record numbers.
The top priority for skeyes still is to ensure the safety of air traffic. But our company also considers guaranteeing smooth flows of air traffic and making the best use of the airports’ capacity as part of our service provision to airports and airline companies. Even in times of growing air traffic, skeyes succeeds in fulfilling all three of those missions.
In 2018 there was more traffic in the Belgian airspace and at the Belgian airports than during the previous years. The total increase amounts to 2.4% compared to 2017.
The Walloon airports recorded strong growth figures: 5.8% for Liège and 4.9% for Charleroi. The Flemish airports also showed renewed growth: +1.6% for Antwerp and +1.1% for Ostend. Only at Brussels Airport did the number of flight movements decrease, but that can be attributed to larger aircraft and a higher aircraft occupancy rate.
It is the first time that skeyes can make a total overview for a complete year at the International Airport of Kortrijk-Wevelgem. At that site however, air traffic controllers limit themselves to providing all the necessary flight information to pilots.
The most remarkable figure can be found in the en route traffic section. Thanks to the 3.2% increase, the CANAC2 air traffic control centre sets a new record: it is the first time that over 600,000 flight movements in one year have been recorded in en route traffic.
Every incident in air traffic is reported so that the necessary lessons may be drawn from it for the future. That is why for the past few years skeyes has been pursuing a Just Culture policy, where reporting even the tiniest incident is key for drawing lessons and doing even better in the future.
The 2018 safety report shall be finished in a couple of weeks. Every year skeyes gives information on its results during a safety conference. Based on the findings so far, it looks like the downward trend in the number of category A and B incidents will have been continued throughout 2018. That is all the more remarkable in times of growing air traffic. It shows that our reporting culture is bearing fruit. For the past few years, skeyes has been heavily investing in renewing and adapting systems and procedures for the further advancement of safety, on the basis of e.g. lessons learned.
Johan Decuyper, CEO: “We consciously pursue a consistent policy in the field of safety. We provide our staff with constant training to keep their professional qualities up to speed and further refine them. They succeed day in day out in putting those qualities into practice, for the benefit of aircraft, crews, passengers and cargo. Their mission has not become any easier as air traffic continues to grow, but our efforts are rewarded. Our safety figures remain at a very high level and we also make safety a point of honour.”