ENR 1.9  Air Traffic Flow Management and Airspace Management

The overall authority for the provision of ATFM services for GAT IFR in Brussels FIR/UIR is delegated to the Eurocontrol Network manager (NM).


The Eurocontrol NM is responsible for:

In order to do this, the Eurocontrol NM applies procedures that:


ATS provides a Flow Management Position (FMP) in each ACC/UAC to liaise between ATC, local aircraft operators and the Eurocontrol NM.

ATS at aerodromes will ensure that flights adhere to departure slots issued by the ATFM Service. In accordance with the provisions of ICAO Doc 7030 and the Airspace Management Handbook, flights that do not adhere to their slot will be denied start-up clearance. However, ATC shall make all efforts to enable departing flights to comply with the slot and flights shall not be prevented from departing due to small taxiing delays.

The ATC unit delivering start-up and/or take-off clearance will give priority in the departure sequence to traffic with a Eurocontrol NM CTOT.

The AMC and ATCC supervisor act as an interface between the military air bases and the Brussels FMP.


The general ATFM procedures, which apply throughout the ICAO European Region, are published in:


4.1   Eurocontrol NM (H24)

Eurocontrol NM
Rue de la Fusée / Raketstraat, 96
1130 Brussels



4.2   Brussels ACC Flow Management Position (H24)

Building U
Tervuursesteenweg 303
1820 Steenokkerzeel

TEL: +32 (0) 2 206 27 30 or 31

FAX: +32 (0) 2 206 27 29


4.3   Airspace Management Cell (weekdays 0600-1800 (0500-1700))

Airspace Management Cell
p/a skeyes (CANAC)
Tervuursesteenweg 303
1820 Steenokkerzeel

TEL: +32 (0) 2 206 29 81 (CIV airspace manager)

TEL: +32 (0) 2 206 29 82 (MIL airspace manager)



5.1   Information on ATFM Measures

It is the aircraft operator's responsibility to inform himself of any valid ATFM measures.

Information with respect to general ATFM measures (e.g. Standard Routeing Scheme, weekend period, etc) can be obtained from the ARO of the aerodrome of departure or from the Brussels FMP.

Daily published ANM are distributed to those aircraft operators who made a request to Eurocontrol NM, or they can be accessed directly on the NOP portal of Eurocontrol NM (www.public.nm.eurocontrol.int/pubportal/gateway/spec). The ANM are also available at the local ARO and at the Brussels FMP.

MIL GAT flights and OAT/GAT flights departing from Belgian AD and routing abroad are always subject to Air Traffic Flow regulations. General information about this procedure can be obtained from AMC section.

5.2   Flight Plans

For flights subject to ATFM measures, flight plans shall be filed at least 3 HR prior to the EOBT, unless a repetitive flight plan exists. Any delay to the EOBT of more than 15 MIN and less than 20 HR shall be notified by a delay message (DLA).

Flight plans may be submitted up to a maximum of 120 hours, or five days, in advance of the EOBT of that flight plan.

A flight plan shall only be considered as accepted after an ACK message has been received from the IFPS at the responsible ARO.

Flight plans not accepted by the IFPS will be returned to the ARO or, for military users, the local AIS section submitting them. The aircraft operator should ensure that the ACK message has been received by the responsible ARO or eventually provide additional data to the ARO in order to have his flight plan accepted by the IFPS. Military pilots should ensure that the ACK message has been received by the responsible AIS section or eventually provide additional data to the AIS section in order to have his flight plan accepted by the IFPS.

Note 1: When Standard Routeing Scheme applies, operators shall initially plan a flight via these routes only.

Note 2: When Traffic Orientation Scheme applies, military pilots shall initially plan a flight via these routes only. Compliance with constraints identified in the IFPS Manual related to the (RAD) is compulsory.

5.3   Replacement Flight Plans

If the slot allocated for the planned route results in a considerable delay, the aircraft operator may select an alternative routeing between the same aerodrome of departure and destination and file a new flight plan accordingly. In this case the operator should cancel the initial flight plan (CNL message to be transmitted with priority “DD”) and file a so-called “replacement flight plan with identical call sign” not less than 5 MIN after this cancellation message.

The replacement flight plan shall contain the complete new routeing in item 15 and, as the first element in item 18, the indication “RFP /Qn” whereas:

  • “RFP” signifies replacement flight plan
  • “n” corresponds to the sequence number relating to the replacement flight plan for that particular flight. (e.g. first replacement flight plan: “RFP /Q1”, second replacement flight plan: “RFP /Q2” etc.)

The replacement flight plan shall be filed at least 30 MIN before the EOBT.

Note: Operators may only submit flight plans for off-load routes after the availability of such routes has been confirmed either by the Eurocontrol NM or the FMP.

5.4   Slot Allocation

The slot allocated to a flight will be issued as a Slot Allocation Message (SAM) 2 HR before the EOBT. The slot is presented as a Calculated Take-Off Time (CTOT). A tolerance of -5 MIN to +10 MIN of the CTOT is defined as the period during which the flight shall take off.

Aircraft operators or military pilots shall take into account the necessary taxiing time in order to adhere as closely as possible to their CTOT when requesting start-up.

The SAM will be issued directly to the aircraft operator's operational office, if the aircraft operator has previously given such address to the Eurocontrol NM. For the military users, the SAM will be issued directly to the AIS section submitting the flight plan. If no particular address was given to the Eurocontrol NM, the SAM will be sent to the Brussels FMP and the ARO of the aerodrome of departure or, for the military users, the local AIS section of the aerodrome of departure. It is the operator's responsibility to contact the local ARO or the FMP in order to obtain the SAM and to co-ordinate with this ATS unit for the eventual exchange of additional messages to/from the Eurocontrol NM. Military pilots shall contact the local AIS section.

The operator shall, in case an assigned slot cannot be met, immediately inform the Eurocontrol NM either directly or via the ARO or the FMP. Military pilots shall immediately inform the AIS section, which will send the appropriate corrective message to the IFPS.

In case a flight is cancelled, a CNL message shall be transmitted without delay, in order to free the allocated slot for other operators.

5.5   Use of STS Indicators in Flight Plans
5.5.1   In Belgium

The insertion of a STS indicator in field 18 of a flight plan, see ENR 1.10, § 1.4.9, will indicate to all parties that may have to handle the flight that the flight may require special handling.

It should be noted that only STS/FFR, STS/HEAD, STS/MEDEVAC and STS/SAR will gain automatic exemption from ATFM measures. The ATFMX descriptor also enables exemption when used, but prior authorization must be given.

Information about abbreviations used can be found in the IFPS User's Manual published by the DNM (Eurocontrol).   Use of the “STS/ATFMX” designation

For flights departing from the Brussels FIR area, the use of the “STS/ATFMX” indicator in box 18 of the flight plan is subject to prior authorization. An operator has the right to request authorization to use this indicator in the following cases:

  1. a human life may be lost or the physical integrity of a person seriously compromised in permanent manner in the event of a delay due to an ATFM control measure. Such situations include in particular urgent transport of organs or medical teams. Pre-positioning flights may also be granted exemption if the situation so requires.
  2. the flight is for a state mission of such importance that the flight cannot accept any delay.

It should be noted that any flight that would have normally been delayed and that obtains an ATFM departure slot exemption transfers the delay to other flights. It is therefore essential that the “STS/ATFMX” designation be used only if the situation justifies this.

Operators who wish to use the ATFMX descriptor must obtain authorisation before the flight, by transmitting the information required in the form available from www.mobilit.belgium.be/fr/transport_aerien/espace_aerien/derogations accompanied, if possible, by documents justifying the request and sending it to the following e-mail address: aspa.exemptions@mobilit.fgov.be.

The request must be made at least 48 hours (during working days between 0800 and 1500) before the flight. Authorisation is granted after examination of the justifying documents supplied.

Outside the hours notified, application for approval for STS/ATFMX should be made to the Brussels FMP (H24) as follows:

Email: sac@skeyes.be

TEL: +32 (0) 2 206 27 22 or +32 (0) 2 206 27 23

FAX: +32 (0) 2 206 27 29   Verification by the competent authority

Eurocontrol provides the BCAA with a monthly list of all outbound flights from Belgium that have used the “STS/ATFMX” designation. In order to strictly limit the use of exemptions to situations requiring them, the BCAA may ask the operator to produce documents justifying the urgency of the mission, and this for a period of 12 months as from the date of the flight. Operators are thus required to keep and provide on request all appropriate documents to justify use of the aforementioned designation.

5.5.2   In Luxembourg   Principles

Within the framework of ATFM, flights for which an IFR flight plan is filled-out may be subject to control measures and imposed ATFM departure slots. Due to the specific nature of the flight and when duly filled-out in the field 18 of the ICAO flight plan, some flights are granted an exemption from ATFM measures.

It shall be noted that only STS/HEAD, STS/MEDEVAC, STS/SAR and STS/FFR indicators grant an automatic exemption. The STS/ATFMX also grants an automatic exemption from flow regulations when duly authorised by the CAA and if the nature of the flight duly justifies it.

The information about the additional STS designator to be used in combination with the STS/ATFMX can be found in the Network Manager IFPS Users Manual and the relevant CAA procedure:

URL: www.dac.public.lu/documentation/index.html
(Procedure DAC-NSA-104)   Approval Procedure

All operators who wish to use an ATFM exemption for flights departing ELLX shall request authorisation before the flight, using the following form(s):

The filled out form together with all the required documents justifying the request shall be sent to the following e-mail address:

The request shall be made at least 48 hours before the flight on working days (MON to FRI (HOL excl), 0700-1600 (0600-1500)).

Authorisation is granted after examination of the documents received. The absence of response within 24 hours grants authorisation.

In the event of an emergency (e.g. urgent medical evacuation or organ transport) and when the request cannot be made within the aforementioned time period, the request form dully filled-out and all associated documents shall be transmitted, as soon as possible, to the aforementioned e-mail address and no later than 48 hours after the flight.   Verification

All operators shall keep all appropriate documents to justify the use of the ATFM exemption for a period of 12 months as from the date of the exempted flight and provide it on request to the CAA.