A4E looks to French govt on industrial reform

European airlines group A4E has called on the French government to use its upcoming ‘Assises de la mobilité’ on September 19 to identify new priorities in terms of mobility and transport and to consider measures to improve the predictability of strikes’ impact on both the French and European economy.

“Given France’s geographical location, ATC strikes in France and a consequential partial closure or the reduction of capacity in French airspace considerably decrease the potential for overflights in French airspace and decreases the connectivity of and with other member states,” said Thomas Reynaert, managing director of A4E.

In June, the European Commission published its communication “Aviation: an Open and Connected Europe” in an effort to enhance airspace efficiency and connectivity in which it encouraged member states and stakeholders, including social partners, to take action to improve service continuity in air traffic management.

Limiting the impact of ATC strikes on travellers and business, without questioning controllers’ fundamental right to strike, is a key objective of A4E which insists that there are political, operational and technological solutions.

They include a compulsory minimum of 72 hours notification of participation in a strike, which should be implemented by member states where possible and practical, and the development of an upper airspace region.

The calls came on a day when at least 200 flight were cancelled and more delayed due to work stoppages at area control centres in Reims and Marseille. “With two-thirds of all European air traffic control strike days taking place in France, European and French policymakers need to implement measures capable of minimising air traffic management disruption’s impact on travellers.

“More than 250 strike days since 2004 are enough – we cannot allow these well-paid air traffic controllers to restrict the rights of millions of European passengers,” said Reynaert.

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