European Air Traffic Chaos Is Now Less Likely

 - January 28, 2014, 2:55 PM

A series of air traffic control strikes across much of continental Europe planned for tomorrow and Thursday now seems less likely to proceed, or have a smaller effect if it does go ahead. Both the French SNCTA union and Germany’s Gdf have postponed their intended actions, although the French USAC-CGT union might still strike on Thursday. Unions in many other EU nations might also still carry out their actions, although many are planned as one- or two-hour “solidarity” strikes.

The action has been called for by the Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC), which represents 14,000 air traffic controllers in Europe. Behind these planned strikes are controller concerns about the European Union’s Single European Sky (SES2+) initiative, which goes to a European Parliament Transport Committee vote on Thursday.

According to ATCEUC, the implementation of SES2+ is based on unrealistic cost savings and unreasonable traffic forecasts, and could ultimately affect both safety and industrial relations. An earlier action day had been planned for October 10 last year, but the EU signaled that it was amending its SES plans, averting the strike. However, the ATCEUC remains dissatisfied with the revised proposals.