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Air Traffic controllers threaten Easter traffic

Wed 3rd Feb 2010

Talks between the Spanish Airports Authority, AENA, and their air traffic controllers in have broken down in a disagreement regarding overtime payments. The current agreement expires on the 31st of March and major problems are expected over the Easter period if no resolution can be found.

The main air traffic controllers union USCA says that AENA broke off the talks ‘unilaterally'.

The Spanish Minster for Development has previously said how he would like to see a 40% cut in the take-home pay of the air traffic controllers, which will reduce their salaries to €200'000 a year. The controllers claim that safety is at risk due to the control rooms being short-staffed, however, they have also been accused of carrying out an unofficial work to rule over the last few weeks - affecting flights to the Canary Islands in particular.

AENA proposes to bring the number of controllers inline with the needs of the air traffic, and has released plans to introduce automatic systems at airports to 50 operations a day.

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