Belgium Sees Savings in EATC

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Belgium is a keen supporter of the European Union's concept of pooling and sharing and points to the European Air Transport Command (EATC) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, as a shining example. Inaugurated on 1 September 2010, the command coordinates the military air transport movements of its members: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. These countries have committed their military transport aircraft to the EATC on a permanent basis or occasionally according to specific requirements.

EATC photo

In the case of Belgium, this is most of its fleet: all 11 C-130s and an Airbus 330 are permanently committed to the EATC, while its other aircraft occasionally fly for the command. In 2012, Belgian C-130s clocked up 5,162 flying hours for the EATC, the A330 1,109 hours, and other aircraft 83 hours.

The Belgian Ministry of Defense has provided some indicators of the benefits of the EATC. On average, 400 tons of materiel are airlifted by another nation, which was not the case before the creation of the EATC, according to the ministry. In 2012, the number of passengers of one nation transported by the aircraft of another was 5,000, double the level for 2011. The number of flights by empty aircraft was reduced from 22 percent in 2011 to 13 percent in 2012.

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