Safety is the absolute priority of Belgocontrol. It is the watchword of every employee, towards which every action must tend. At Belgocontrol, safety is analysed and managed systematically and continuously by proactive and reactive actions. It is promoted daily and constitutes a solid corporate culture.
1. A NUMBER OF INCIDENTS STILL AT A LOW
A and B
Evolution of the number of incidents
of category A (severe) and B (major)
After the absolute record in 2016 (0 A and B incidents), the 2017 score is the second best score recorded by Belgocontrol.
incidents of category
A and B per million
incidents of category
A per million
The severity of the incidents is evaluated on a scale of A (severe) to E (without impact on security). The severity of an incident is determined by the horizontal and vertical separation between the planes and the level of control over the situation.
2. AN INCREASINGLY ANCHORED SAFETY CULTURE
Compared to 2016
This increase of 64% does not signify that there are more incidents, but that they have been reported more systematically by the air traffic controllers.
Three factors have contributed to the anchorage of the safety culture:
•The implementation and the promotion of the Just Culture: The Just Culture aims to promote the reporting of safety-related events by the air traffic controllers. It is founded on the principle that the frontline players – air traffic controllers, technicians etc. – will not be punished for the actions, omissions or decisions proportionate to their experience and their training.
• Optimisation of the incident reporting tools.
Number of incidents reported (per year) by Belgocontrol air traffic controllers
• At the end of 2015, new European legislation broadened the types of incident to report, such as collisions with fauna, technical problems on the apparatus or tiredness and work overload. This explains the strong progression of the number of incidents in 2016 and 2017. Starting in 2010, the application of the Just Culture and the actions of promoting safety as well as the new legistlation made the number of incident reports skyrocket. In fact, there are not more incidents but they are more systematically reported. This makes it possible to refine the analyses and to obtain a more accurate picture of the proactive and reactive actions to undertake.
3. THE MOST REPORTED INCIDENTS
One of the most reported incidents is the intrusion by pilots in a controlled airspace without prior authorisation. This type of incident concerns mostly the regional airports where general aviation traffic is more significant. Another frequently reported type of incident concerns attempts to blind the pilot or the controllers by using a laser pointer. The coordinated actions of the federal police, the airports and Belgocontrol is having an impact, because the phenomenon is declining. Incidents linked to laser pointers have in fact been the most frequently reported during the last 5 years. Out of 1809 incident reports, the investigations established that Belgocontrol took some responsibility in 78 of them, of which 64 of category E, meaning without impact on the level of safety.
4. PROACTIVE ACTIONS FOR SAFETY
changes involving safety have been notified to the Belgian Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BSA – ANS) in 2017
Every time a technical or operational change (new system, new procedure etc.) is planned, this modification is analysed prior to its implementation from the angle of safety and is subject to an in-depth analysis: the safety assessment.
The installation of the A-SMGCS system foreseen in 2019 at the airports of Charleroi and Liège, which guides the planes on the ground through the airport traffic lanes by using automated systems linked to the radars, was the subject of a safety assessment in 2017. The A-SMGCS system considerably improves safety on the airport traffic lanes, particularly in the case of reduced visibility.
The new CDO procedures (“green landings”), which guarantee landings with less greedy fuel consumption and quieter, were thoroughly analysed from a security standpoint in view of their implementation at the airports of Liege and Charleroi.
Following the safety assessment, the services of Belgocontrol at the Kortrijk-Wevelgem airport allowed the resumption of general and commercial aviation activities starting from the month of November.
safety surveys were
conducted by Belgocontrol
The safety surveys are internal and external audits carried out to identify the processes with a higher risk and to take adequate corrective actions.
Among the safety surveys conducted in 2017, the Full Marshalling Procedure was examined in depth under the angle of security at Liege airport. This procedure applies in the case of very low visibility. It consists of accompanying the planes by vehicles on the airport traffic lanes.