[Avionics Magazine 12-29-2016] Belgian Air Defense has signed a new agreement to start deploying Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Center (MUAC) for the provision of military air traffic services in Belgian airspace. Under the agreement, the system will be deployed at several military sites throughout Belgian airspace.
From left: Jac Jansen, Director of MUAC, and Major General Rudy Debaene, acting Director General Material Resources. Photo: Eurocontrol.
According to Eurocontrol, the shared Air Traffic Services (ATS) system is a data services concept allowing Air Traffic Management (ATM) data services to be provided by one air navigation service provider to another, whether civil or military. It helps alleviate the defragmentation of the European air traffic network and lays the foundations for the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking’s (SESAR JU) virtual center concept.
The decision by Belgium to add the new system in its airspace underpins the recommendations of a study, which assessed the operational and technical feasibility of deploying a Shared ATS System (SAS) at Belgian Air Defense sites as a cost-effective solution for the replacement of the existing SEROS II system. The SEROS II system is reaching the end of its life cycle, Eurocontrol says.
Military controllers in Belgium will use the same flight data processing system, controller working positions and human-machine interface as those used at MUAC. This entails processing information (e.g. correlated aircraft tracks and flight plans) for en-route, approach and tower control operations. The project will require adaptation of the MUAC flight data processing system and controller working positions in order to integrate the Belgian Air Defense airspace and sectors and to develop and implement the specific military functions identified in the feasibility study.
The shared ATS system will become operational in 2019 at the air traffic control center (ATCC) for en-route military operations and at the Air Traffic Control (ATC) towers in Koksijde, Beauvechain, Florennes and Kleine-Brogel for approach and tower operations.