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Crackdown on Air Traffic Controllers Salary

Mon 8th Feb 2010

On Friday the government approved a Royal Decree which limits the power of Spanish Air Traffic Controllers, who have so far seem to have been in control of the body which manages their employment. That has resulted in the 2,300 controllers in Spain receiving salaries which are almost double that of their counterparts in other EU Countries.

The new decree gives control back to AENA, the Spanish Airports Authority, who will now control the situation. The Contract of the Air Traffic Controllers will change from 1,200 hours a year to 1,750 hours essentially reducing salaries by 41% by removing overtime rates, down from 340,000 € a year to about 200,000 €.

Breaks per shift are reduced from 33% of the shift time to 25% by day, and from 50% to 33% at night.

Work rosta's will now be published monthly, ten days in advance, compared to the 90 days notice that they currently receive.

The previous opportunity to take early retirement at 52 on a full pension has also now ended.

The changes to legislation also permit third party private companies to be contracted by AENA to cover this service, but any controllers finding themselves out of a job have to be offered another position.

Additionally, the results of a new safety study will be presented in two months time to see which low-traffic airports in Spain will be able to use the new automatic system instead of the traditional voice control. Depending upon the result, it is initially expected to be introduced in Ciudad Real, El Hierro, La Gomera, Huesca, Logroño and Burgos.

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