European Parliament encourages low-cost air traffic control & navigation services

ETF demands to stop jeopardising jobs and safety in European Sky

On 29 and 30 of January 2014, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and its national affiliates from 11 countries organised strikes and other actions in the context of the 2nd European Action Day to demand the establishment of a fair, cooperative and social Single European Sky (SES). The Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) and the entire ATM (Air Traffic Management) staff called on the Transport Committee (TRAN) Members of the European Parliament to support their demands for a strong social dimension inside the SES. The TRAN Committee voted this morning on the so-called SES2+ package and ignored the concerns expressed by the ATCOs and all other involved employees.

The ETF, representing more than 25,000 ATCOs and ATM staff, is of the opinion that the SES2+ package was drafted by the Commission in view of the airlines’ commercial interests, disregarding its effects on jobs, safety and efficiency. Today, the TRAN Committee voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal. If adopted as such in the European Parliament, it will break the stability of the sector.

François Ballestero, ETF Political Secretary commented: “The ETF opposes the introduction of low-cost air navigation services throughout Europe. Moreover, the mandatory structural separation between supervisory authorities and service providers is not justified. The ETF calls all the Members of the European Parliament to reject the dogmatic liberalisation of the ATM industry when voting in the plenary in the coming months. I would like to thank all the Members of the European Parliament who were already very supportive towards the demands of the staff”.

The ETF opposes the Commission approach on performance, which only intends to reduce costs. Between 2014 and 2019, the Commission foresees a unit cost reduction in air navigation services by 22.41%. The ETF calls the Member States to stop these unrealistic targets.

Riccardo Rubini, President of the ETF ATM Committee: “On behalf of the ETF, I would like to thank all the ETF affiliates participating in the Action Day to oppose any cuts in jobs. Air traffic control has a public service dimension and the ETF does not want a SES based on market principles and competition where safety risks are being jeopardised because of business interests.”