Approach control - APP

In order to improve the management of departures and arrivals at larger airports, terminal areas (TMA) have been defined wherein a specific air traffic control service is provided: approach control (APP). These controlled areas encompass the CTRs and can, in some cases, serve several airports at the same time. The Brussels Terminal Area (Brussels TMA) for instance, serves the airports of Antwerp, Brussels as well as the Chièvres military base.

Approach Controllers provide all ATC services to aircraft moving within the terminal area of the airport (TMA). Traffic flow is broadly divided into departures, arrivals and overflights.

When an aircraft, after take-off, leaves the airport surroundings, the air controller of the control tower hands it over to a departure controller who is located at APP. Assisted by the radar, the latter will guide the aircraft through the flows of approaching traffic and will manage the initial part of its ascent.

Conversely, when an aircraft abandons its cruising level and begins its descent, the "en-route" controller hands it over to an "arrival" controller at an appropriate altitude and a specific point. The "arrival" controller, like his colleague the "departure" controller, is located at APP.

An "arrival" controller's task is to manage descents and to align the various approaching aircraft on the runway axis, hereby respecting the safety distances. Once the aircraft are in their "final" alignment, the "arrival" controller hands them over to the air controller in the tower (TWR), who will authorize their landing.

Belgocontrol has two approach services (APP), one at CANAC (Computer Assisted National Air traffic Control Centre) in Steenokkerzeel and the other at Ostend Airport.

AIM Briefing

Annual report 2016   (3.43 Mb)
The Control Tower at Brussels Airport - For optimal safety of air navigation   (0.63 Mb)
The Sky within your reach: become an air traffic controller   (0.16 Mb)
CANAC 2: performance-oriented air traffic control   (0.84 Mb)
Video: Air traffic control - Main task  
Video: The airspace - Organisation