At Paris-Orly, 70% of flights canceled this weekend after the announcement of an air traffic controllers’ strike

At Paris-Orly, 70% of flights canceled this weekend after the announcement of an air traffic controllers’ strike
At Paris-Orly, 70% of flights canceled this weekend after the announcement of an air traffic controllers’ strike

Around 70% of flights were canceled at Paris-Orly airport on Saturday May 25, and as many will be canceled on Sunday, following a call for a strike by an air traffic controllers union, a month after a first protest leading to to the cancellation of thousands of flights.

The UNSA-ICNA, the second representative union of air traffic controllers (17% in the last professional elections), is demanding “adequate staffing”judging that the agreement signed at the end of April between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) and the main controllers’ union, the SNCTA (60% of the votes), does not guarantee them.

Following this call for strike, the DGAC asked airline operators on Friday to reduce their commercial flight schedule by 70%, first for Saturday at Paris-Orly airport, before extending it for a few more hours. late this request on Sunday, according to “notices for air missions” (Notam) published by the DGAC.

Read also | Article reserved for our subscribers Air traffic controllers: why major disruptions are expected at Orly on Saturday

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Flights to overseas territories, which are numerous at Orly, should be spared in the name of “territorial continuity”. “There was about an hour and a half delay arriving this morning” on maintained flights, “but the situation has clearly improved”declared a spokesperson for the DGAC on Saturday afternoon.

“This strike is absolutely unacceptable”since an agreement had been signed, denounced François Déletraz, president of the National Federation of Transport User Associations (Fnaut). “One day or another we will arrive at a regulation of the right to strike for a profession which is (…) a state monopoly »he estimated on BFM-TV. “Ultimately, instead of declaring themselves forty-eight hours in advance, we should require them to declare themselves seventy-two hours in advance”to avoid the numerous passengers going to the airport before knowing whether their flight is maintained or not, he added.

Request for salary increase

Air traffic had already been severely disrupted on April 25, during the school holidays, at all French airports and, indirectly, in Europe, due to a French air traffic control strike. An agreement was reached at the last minute with the SNCTA, but too late to avoid thousands of cancellations.

The controllers were protesting against the measures accompanying an overhaul of French air traffic control, in particular salary provisions. They demanded, among other things, a 25% increase in salaries spread over five years. If the agreement reached has not been officially detailed, according to The echoesthe controllers had obtained salary increases ranging from 226 to 1,001 euros per month.

On Friday, the government regretted this new strike. “I deplore the behavior of some agents at local level, who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of a majority agreement and make passengers pay the price. I appeal to their responsibility”declared the Minister for Transport, Patrice Vergriete.

For the UNSA-ICNA, this salary agreement does not resolve the question of “understaffed” which are emerging at Orly, according to her, by 2027. “Our managers persist, for Orly, in stinginess and apothecary calculations which will quickly reduce the teams to understaffing”said the union in a leaflet.

At the same time as this mobilization, the USAC-CGT filed a strike notice from May 23 to 30 to specifically protest against the weakening of the “territorial network” planned, according to the union, by the air traffic control reform.

The World with AFP

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