Air traffic controllers received €2.84m in overtime pay and benefits for 2016, while Cyprus missed an EU-set target on flight delay timings, a report by the auditor general’s office on Thursday said.
The pay for 2016 was an increase from the previous year which paid €2.79m to air traffic controllers, corresponding to an 8.3 per cent increase in overtime hours to 65,504.
According to the report, sums handed out in 2016 for overtime and benefits pay ranged from €2,138 to even €54,120 per person
The auditor recommended that the civil aviation department along with transport and finance ministers evaluate the findings and try and copy other countries with better value for money models.
Quoted in the report were the responses of the civil aviation chief who put the cause of overtime to lack of proper organisation and staffing, along with the public service’s inability to work efficiently and respond to the needs of their field.
Additionally, the average delay in flights fell by 76 per cent in 2016 at 0.6 minutes per flight, an improvement from 2.5 minutes in 2015
Nonetheless, this left Cyprus off the mark from an EU commission target set at less than 0.5 minutes delay on average between 2015 – 2019.
The audit service recommended efforts continue towards reducing delay times. Quoting the aviation department chief, the report outlined the cause of the delays was the same as that for overtime “lack of organisation and staffing, as a result of the public service’s inability to work quickly and efficiently.”
Additionally, she said 20 positions had been vacant for 10 years for organisation posts as well as 20 places for assistants.