New ATC walkouts scheduled for September 26 and October 3

Barcelona ATC tower at sunrise by Juanedc - Flickr

The main Spanish air controllers’ union USCA announced yesterday, through its web site, that new ATC walkouts have been scheduled. Hence, USCA’s national assembly approved the call to strike on September 26 and October 3, between 06.00 and 18.00 CET. These new ATC walkouts have been scheduled in light of the “ENAIRE’s lack of desire to resume talks” concerning the sanctions of those 61 employees as a consequence of the air space closure in 2010. They also request the readmission of the controller who was dismissed in Santiago de Compostela as a consequence of the same events.

These stops were first called in May and actually started in June. So the controllers are now calling new ATC walkouts after suspending them during the month of August “in order to avoid impact on passengers during their annual vacation”. Therefore, “given this environment USCA is forced to resume and intensify the industrial action”. Moreover, USCA representatives hope that their rights to strike are not flouted by Enaire and the Ministry of Development (Fomento), by imposing unfair minimum services. Which according to USCA is what they did with the previous calls when minimum services of 70% and 80% were fixed for the strikes of June and July respectively. These minimum services were in fact challenged by USCA. In their opinion, not only they were too high, but they were distributed in such a way that the controllers with operative functions were not respected at all.

All-time high for Aena in August

USCA’s announcement is made just when the data of actual operations during the month of August was published by Aena. To this respect, ElPais reported yesterday that over 24 million people used the Aena airports last month. This represents an increase of 4.7% over last year. Out of these figures, it is worth noting that Madrid airport increased passengers in 14% consolidating itself as the country’s busiest airport. Also Barcelona continues to gain passengers with 3.7% in August. Palma increased 0.9%, Ibiza 3.3% and Menorca 5.5%. For further information you can see a summary translation into English of this article.

Photo: Barcelona ATC tower at sunrise by Juanedc – Flickr