Strong partnerships

skeyes is preparing for the future: in recent years, the company has been recruiting extensively and investing in numerous strong partnerships in all of its areas of activity, both nationally and internationally. skeyes takes its social responsibilities very seriously, drives innovation, and collaborates with a multitude of experts in order to best serve its employees and customers.

1. Entry Point North Belgium

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A major first for skeyes, in 2018 it established a joint venture and launched a new training centre, Entry Point North Belgium. skeyes joined with Entry Point North, a Scandinavian academy active worldwide that specialises in training for air traffic control occupations.

Entry Point North Belgium provides high quality training within a modern setting at skeyes’ main site. There is a wide and varied range of training programmes available: air traffic control, engineers, technicians, meteorology, aeronautical information, aviation experts, etc.

The training is intended both for skeyes personnel and for external partners. The training site is located at Steenokkerzeel and boasts the latest cutting-edge simulators: 50 radar/pilot stations, five 180° and one 360° 3D tower simulators.

Entry Point North Belgium is a 50:50 joint venture between skeyes and Entry Point North. With this ambitious collaboration, the two organisations are firmly establishing themselves in the Single European Sky of the future.

2. Co-location of civil and military air traffic control

From the end of 2019, civil and military air traffic control will be co-located on the skeyes site at Steenokkerzeel. Military air traffic controllers will join their colleagues from skeyes in the operations room of the CANAC 2 control centre. In October 2018, skeyes and the Belgian Armed Forces signed a framework agreement governing this future structural collaboration.

Co-location of civil and military air traffic control will enable even closer exchanges between the two organisations and more flexible use of the Belgian airspace for the benefit of all users.

skeyes and the Belgian Armed Forces also expressed their joint ambition to provide integrated civil and military air navigation services in the Belgian airspace by 2030, offering top-level reliability and optimal efficiency.

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3. Common air traffic management system in Belgian airspace

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skeyes, Belgian Defence and EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) want to use the same air traffic management system from 2024 onwards. Thanks to a single technical solution, the services provided to users of Belgian airspace will be much more efficient. In late November 2018, the three parties signed a Letter of Intent with this objective in mind.

This objective will be supported by SAS3, the Shared Air Traffic Management System, by serving as a powerful catalyst for addressing capacity and cost-efficiency challenges in the Belgian airspace. It will also assist with the deployment of an efficient, effective external contingency solution in the event of the failure of any of the installations that provide technical services.

4. SESAR

The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme is the technological pillar of the Single European Sky. This ambitious programme aims to fundamentally transform the management of air traffic in Europe, making it safer, more efficient and reducing its impact on the environment through the modernisation and harmonisation of European air traffic management systems.

skeyes is actively participating in numerous SESAR projects, including in the areas of satellite navigation and drones.

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Other projects include:

VISTA

skeyes is part of the VISTA project, which is studying the effects of conflicting market forces on European performance in air traffic management, by evaluating the impact on four key actors in the aviation sector and on the environment. Other partners in the project include the University of Westminster, EUROCONTROL as well as the airlines SWISS and Icelandair.

Engage

skeyes is an industrial partner in Engage, the SESAR knowledge transfer network. This is an international platform to encourage research on developments in air traffic management.

Enhanced visual landing system

skeyes is part of the consortium selected to carry out validation testing for a new landing procedure at Antwerp airport. The cockpits of aircraft will be fitted with an enhanced visual system increasing the information available to the pilot. The project was launched in 2018.

SESAR workshops

On 17 and 18 September 2018, skeyes hosted two workshops by the SESAR Deployment Manager: one dedicated to the concept of improved arrivals management in large airports (Extended Arrival Manager); the other dedicated to information management governance and cybersecurity within the context of SWIM (System Wide Information Management).

5. FABEC

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The CEO of skeyes, Johan Decuyper chaired the CEO Board of FABEC in 2018. FABEC is the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central covering Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, France and Switzerland under the Single European Sky. This is the largest area of airspace in Europe: almost 60% of all European air traffic travels through this airspace.

While chairman, Johan Decuyper worked to enhance the role of FABEC as a platform for exchange and collaboration, both operationally and technologically. Strong partnerships between the air navigation service providers of the six countries and EUROCONTROL are necessary to achieve optimal performance in terms of air traffic safety, fluidity and capacity.

In October 2018, FABEC was the recipient of a prestigious award from ATCA (Air Traffic Control Association) in the United States for its innovative research on unpredictable factors in air traffic management as well as extreme climatic conditions.

6. ANA Lux

Belgian and Luxembourgish air traffic controllers collaborate closely in numerous areas, including risk management, aeronautical information, green landing procedures and satellite navigation, among many others. In 2018, skeyes launched the developmentv of PBN satellite procedures on behalf of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg Air Navigation Administration (ANA Lux).

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7. Living Tomorrow

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In 2018, skeyes joined the Living Tomorrow research and development platform, which is studying visions of the future around themes connected with day-to-day living, including mobility. By participating in this project, skeyes wants to closely examine the future of air traffic and air traffic control. Digital transformation will also be studied. Through workshops and demonstrations, skeyes and Living Tomorrow want to develop practical useful ideas.