IATA Condemns French ATC Strike

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has "strongly condemned" French air traffic controllers' strike, which started yesterday. The six-day walk-out was targeted to take place at the start of the summer holiday season in a protest over France's involvement in the Single European Sky (SES), which they fear will lead to job losses. Tony Tyler, IATA's director general and CEO, said: "The SES goals include improving safety, reducing delays, cutting emissions, modernising infrastructure and creating 320,000 jobs. Our own research confirmed that it can be done without a single controller losing his or her job. Who could be against that? This strike is totally unjustified." Eurocontrol estimates that €9bn was lost last year as a result of SES not having been implemented. It cost €6bn in lost productivity, €3bn in unnecessary operating costs and 70 million minutes of delays. "We expect France to keep its commitment to deliver the SES. It must not buckle under the pressure of a privileged few controllers seeking to protect themselves from the 'efficiency' that every other industry and worker is challenged to achieve," said Tyler in a statement.

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