A Europe-wide air traffic control strike is planned for next Wednesday, which could lead to widespread flight disruption.
The industrial action is in protest to the planned safety and savings targets of the European Commission’s Single European Sky initiative, which aims to consolidate air traffic control services across the continent.
Two organisations are staging the strikes: The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC), which represents 14,000 flight overseers across 28 countries will strike on 29th January, and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) will walk out on 30th January.
Germany’s air traffic controllers are planning to strike for one hour on 29th January, in a show of support for the expected Europe-wide strike. In the UK, NATS will work as normal despite the strikes.
In a report on Air Traffic Management.net NATS chief executive, Richard Deakin, said: “NATS controllers will be working as usual in spite of the threat of industrial action in Europe. If the strikes go ahead we will work closely, as ever, with Eurocontrol and other European air navigation services to help keep people moving whenever possible.”
“We will also work with our airline and airport customers to help them manage their operations should any changes be necessary.
“Any passengers who are worried they might be affected should check with their airlines for the latest information.”
The European Commission says the Single European Sky programme will triple the region’s airspace capacity, cut costs and reduce delays.