Cyprus Mail

Threatened air traffic strike called off

THE Air Traffic Controllers European Unions’ Coordination (ATCEUC) has called off a planned four-hour work stoppage this Thursday across 26 European countries including Cyprus.

In a general assembly meeting in Malta on Friday, the ATCEUC decided to cancel the Europe-wide day of action planned for its 14,000 members to protest against the European Commission’s (EC) attempt to deregulate the profession.

According to a released statement on Monday, the decision was taken after the EC requested an urgent meeting with the board of ATCEUC, which received assurances that the Commission would take their views into account regarding the Single European Sky II (SES2+) and Reference Period 2 (RP2) targets for the coming period.

The work stoppage across Europe will not go ahead as planned on Thursday but ATCEUC does not rule out taking action in the future if discussions with the EC do not bear fruit.

Air traffic controllers argue that the EC is demanding a tenfold increase in flight safety by 2020, while at the same time drastically reducing the cost of Air Traffic Management (ATM) and related services by 50 per cent, constituting a real danger for the future of safe and efficient ATM.

The ATCEUC believes the real objectives behind the proposed changes in SES2+ and RP2 are: to liberalise the provision of Air Navigation Services, deregulate the working conditions of thousands of staff in ATM, and eventually put this essential public interest service in the hands of a few wealthy individuals and companies that have been lobbying to this effect.

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