NICOSIA - Cyprus Air-Traffic Control Union (CYATCU) plans to go on strike next month in protest against EU plans to overhaul the EU’s fragmented air-traffic-control system.
The strike, scheduled for October 10 is expected to cause disruptions and cancellations across Europe as well as flights to and from Cyprus.
The strike is the iniative of Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination (ATCEUC).
For the first time in more than ten years it is calling on 14,000 members to join a pan-European action day against the European Commission’s (EC) attempt to deregulate every profession that ensures the safety of passengers in the skies.
The Cyprus union will join the EU action day with a four-hour strike between the hours of 3pm and 7pm. There are landings every five minutes at Larnaca airport and every 7 minutes at Paphos airport.
ATCEUC said that “Less than five years have passed since the adoption of Single European Sky II (SES2) and despite its overambitious targets have not yet been reached, the EC is trying to change again the legislative framework for aviation in Europe by setting even more unrealistic targets.”
It demands a tenfold increase of flight safety by 2020, while at the same time it is drastically reducing the cost of Air Traffic Management and related services by 50%,” said traffic controllers.
“This contradiction constitutes a real danger for the future of safe and efficient ATM, where any change has to be studied carefully and agreed with all stakeholders, in order to ensure that safety is not jeopardised.”
CYATCU stated that “if the EU Parliament approves EU Commission’s dangerous proposals the result will be restrictions imposed on funding of provisions and this will directly affect the safety and quality of services provided.”