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Union leader Criticises AENA sale of control towers

Thu 20th Oct 2011
Union leader Criticises AENA sale of control towers

The Union of Air Traffic Controllers Association (USCA) in the Canary Islands has warned that awarding the contract to operate the iar traffic control of Lanzerote to Saerco, can effect the quality of service to much of the Canary Islands.

Javier Zanon, a Spokesman for USCA told the media that the union was not against the privatisation of the 13 control towers, but that the process of privatisation was moving forward at an 'irresponsible pace'.

He also referred to Saerco as "a Spanish company with no experience in the sector" and went on to mention how the company was only formed a few month after the bidding process to control the towers began.

Zanon also referred to recent flight delays, which in his view were, "a consequence of having a lack of controlers."

He continued that, while AENA denied that there was a lack of controlers, AENA themselves publish the statistics that bears his claim out.

The President of the Federation of Hotel and Tourism Entrepreneurs of Las Palmas, Fernando Fraile, said that the meeting with the leaders of USCA has left him "concerned" because the privatisation of 3 control towers in the Canary Islands "will have a significant impact."

"We want the quality of service offered and be competitive, and it seems that looking for that sector's competitiveness measures are taken which, in our opinion, are fairly abrupt and companies in the short term, it will not improve safety and effectiveness of the service, which is what matters most to us."

Fraile stressed the importance of having a reliable service to the Canary Islands due to their isolation and reliance on such transport - especially when so much of the region depends on the arrival of tourists for their economic survival.

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