Take part in innovation

Belgocontrol actively participates in the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme that aims to implement technological innovations in air traffic management in order to increase its performance. It holds a leadership position in several areas, especially in the transmission of meteorological data. Belgocontrol has also acted proactively to adapt to the reality of drones.


icon euro €20.2 million

have been invested by Belgocontrol in 2017 for the renewal of its equipment

These investments will even more reinforce its safety mission as well as its performances.


The SESAR programme is the technological pillar of the Single European Sky. It is an ambitious programme that started in 2004 with the goal of fundamentally changing air traffic management in Europe, making it safer, more efficient and reducing its impact on the environment by modernising and harmonising the European ATM systems. All aeronautics players are involved: airports, equipment manufacturers, air navigation service providers, the scientific community, regulatory bodies and airspace users.

The SESAR programme consists of 3 phases:

avion 1st

user of the IWXXM format in the world

Belgocontrol is the first air navigation service provider in the world to send its meteorological data in the new IWXXM (ICAO Meteorological Information Exchange Model) format. In use by Belgocontrol since July 2017 to send data to the weather centre in London that propagates them around the world, the IWXXM format will become the standard of the ICAO in 2020.

The IWXXM project was co-financed by the European Union as part of the deployment phase of the SESAR programme. In the field of meteorology, it is also a first step in the implementation of the SWIM (System Wide Information Management) concept which was developed by SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research).



Safety nets at Brussels Airport

Belgocontrol is the first air navigation service provider in Europe to have 100% implemented safety nets for airports within the functionalities of the A-SMGCS system (Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System), an international concept which brings together all the elements of the airport that contribute to the guidance and control of surface movements.
At Belgocontrol, the A-SMGCS is deployed by the AMS (Airport Movement System), developed by Belgocontrol for the air traffic control ‘tower’.
These safety nets, implemented and functioning at Brussels Airport, improve the safety, the capacity and the efficiency of the airport traffic.ort.

Routing and Planning function

Another functionality of the A-SMGCS 100% implemented by Belgocontrol: the Routing and the Planning. The same as for the safety nets, Belgocontrol holds a leadership position in this area.

Landings with satellite navigation increase safety, accessibility and capacity at Brussels Airport.

Since 2 March 2017, planes can also land at Brussels Airport via satellite navigation; the PBN (Performance Based Navigation) system. Belgocontrol invests heavily in the innovative PBN technology: at the Antwerp, Charleroi and Liege airports, the air traffic controllers also use them for approaching planes. Since 2017, they do the same at Brussels Airport, where landing procedures can be applied via the PBN on runways 25R/25L and 01. The use of the PBN procedures doesn’t affect the use of preferred runways. It is above all a back-up for the current guidance systems and procedures. To fully establish the PBN, it requires, above all, that all planes be equipped to proceed with this switchover.

LARA and the Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA)

Coordination with the military air traffic control is crucial to the efficient management of air traffic. Civilian air traffic can operate in zones reserved for the military when these are not in use so that civilian planes can follow the most direct routes possible. The LARA (Local and sub-Regional Airspace Management Support System) software, a new tool for reservation, planning and visualisation of military zones in real-time has been completely integrated into the CANAC 2 control centre to facilitate common management of the airspace.

Belgocontrol stays involved and conducts projects so that the SESAR programme becomes a reality of the air control of tomorrow.

euros €12.1 billion

performance gains expected (between 2015 and 2024) for an investment of €3.8 billion at European level

euros 10 kg

of fuel savings per passenger and per flight

attention 4 x

greater safety in the European airspace



recorded incident reports regarding drones in 2017

The number of drones(Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) reported in the controlled airspace continues to grow constantly: from just one report in 2014 to 10 in 2016 and 15 in 2017. In collaboration with the FPS Mobility and Transport, Belgocontrol created an interactive website www.droneguide.be. This platform heightens awareness as to the correct use of drones in Belgium and is addressed as much towards pilots of professional drones as recreational ones. In 2018, a mobile app of droneguide.be will be launched. It will be followed by a version with extended functionalities for professional pilots by the end of the year.