Belgocontrol, the Belgian air navigation services provider, supports the organizers and the competitors of the Gordon Bennett Cup which will start on Saturday 15th September 2007. Belgocontrol has specified the operational conditions of the ballooning event in collaboration with the organizers, the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority and the military aviation authorities (COMOPSAIR). Balloons are dependent on weather conditions and takeoff from the racecourse of Boisfort is conditioned by the wind direction and force in order to avoid potential conflicts with takeoffs and landings of aircraft at Brussels Airport. If the wind comes from the sector comprised between 290° and 090° and that runway 02 is not used, balloons will be authorised to take off from Boisfort.
If the wind is not in the sector laid down, the takeoff will be either postponed or the takeoff site will be transferred to Houthalen-Helchteren in the North-East of Belgium.
Coordination is continuous between the organizers and the air traffic control centre, CANAC, in Steenokkerzeel. This centre is permanently in touch with the other air traffic control services (Tower, Approach, military) and might be led to apply possible restrictions to ensure air traffic safety for all the controlled airspace users. Competitors must respect different flight levels and avoid the controlled airspace areas.
Considering the success of the event last year, the organizers have again required the assistance of Belgocontrol’s Met Department to make the necessary decisions as far as the departure place and time of the race are concerned and to receive constantly meteorological aid and information during the race. A Belgocontrol meteorological expert takes part in the briefings of pilots and will be present on the spot.
By helping the organizers of the Gordon Bennett Cup, Belgocontrol expresses its intention to support recreational aviation and to fulfil its main mission: air traffic safety.
For further information about Belgocontrol, click here