2016 European ATC Strike Delays Surpass 1 Million Minutes
IATA is fed up with European air traffic controller strikes, which have resulted in excess of 1 million minutes in delays across the continent this year. The airline organization is calling for governments to take steps to ensure service continuity in the face of industrial action.
“The current frequency of disputes is totally unacceptable,” said IATA’s European Regional Vice President, Rafael Schvartzman. “European air travellers have suffered an incredible 1 million minutes of delay and over 3000 cancelled flights as a result of strikes this year. And today is yet another day of French strikes.
“Every hour wasted impacts European productivity as businesses are disrupted. And it hurts holiday-makers when plans need to be altered. The time has come for European governments to work together to ensure the essential service of air traffic control is able to continue even during strikes,” Schvartzman added.
Controller strikes in France yesterday were expected to result in the cancellation of at least 15% of flights out of Paris. And yesterday’s work stoppage marked the 14th French ATC strike this year alone.
“Air traffic controllers are highly-compensated professionals in a dynamic industry. They should be embracing reforms that are critical to delivering the safety, capacity, cost and environmental improvements European air travellers deserve,” said Schvartzman.
IATA called on governments to ensure service continuity for air traffic management services.
“The European economy needs reliable air connectivity. It cannot afford to have its airspace closed like this. A starting point to keeping Europe’s skies open would be for each country to develop its own national airspace strategy, in consultation with airlines, which contains provisions for ensuring service continuity during periods of industrial action or equipment failure,” said Schvartzman.